'Unnecessary panic over dengue benefitting path labs'
Kolkata: Unnecessary panic is being spread among common people over dengue for "monetary gain" of a section of pathological laboratories and awareness needs to be created among people to check the menace, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
She held a press conference in Nabanna after a health review meeting in the state secretariat in which representatives of the state Health department, Panchayat department, Urban Development department and various Municipal corporations and Municipalities were present. Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and the state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim were present in the meeting too.
Banerjee said: "It has been found that unnecessary panic is being created so that a person suffering from fever gets admitted to a healthcare centre after getting tensed so that they can (administration of healthcare centre) make money. Some laboratories undertake unnecessary tests on a person suffering from fever instead of doing the one which is actually needed."
After being directed by the Chief Minister, director of health services Biswaranjan Satpathy explained that there are different recommended tests for people suffering from fever for a day and who suffers for more than four days.
"Some pathological and healthcare centres are undertaking card tests or rapid tests and reports are given with "NS1 reactive" written on it. Interestingly, while handing over the report, the officials of pathological laboratories are saying that the patients are suffering from dengue and necessary steps need to be taken as early as possible. It creates panic among people. Such activities have come to notice during Durga Puja in certain areas. These are unethical practices of the laboratories."
Satpathy further said: "In 2014, steps were taken against laboratories in Kolkata. The Chief Medical Officer Health in districts (CMOH) have also been urged to look into the matter in Deganga and Habra."
The Chief Minister further said: "District Magistrates are also being directed to look into the matter. They have been asked to take strict steps if anyone makes a patient and his or her family members panicky to get admitted to a hospital to make fast money."
Banerjee maintained that so far 14 persons have died in the recent times in the state due to dengue and in the past seven to eight months, dengue led to the death of a total of 24 persons. However, reasons behind the deaths of six persons in the area of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) are yet to be verified. She maintained that on Thursday, the government has taken stock of the situation as for the past few months some had been claiming that many people died in Deganga and Habra due to dengue. "But the actual report is that not a single person died due to dengue in Deganga. In Habra, only one died of dengue."
She further said that every year around this time, many people suffer due to fever as a result of the change in the weather.
"Even death of one person is unfortunate. So we are taking stock of the situation," she said after urging the principal secretary of the Health department Anil Verma to explain the situation on the availability of platelets. Verma said: "There was no shortage of platelets and since September 25 there was no increase in demand of platelets which shows that dengue cases have not gone up."
The Chief Minister immediately said that there is no scope of self satisfaction and all precautionary measures need to be taken to avoid deterioration of the situation. Steps are also being taken to make platelets easily available in North Bengal as well.
She further said that there are many residential areas of the Central government where municipalities are not allowed to undertake cleaning. They also do not clean the surrounding areas and it turns into breeding grounds of mosquitoes. "I would urge them to allow us to take up cleaning work as it led to two deaths in Bidhannagar in one such area," she maintained.