In case anybody forgot, dengue continues to spread across the national capital. According to data released by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the national capital has reported 504 cases of dengue in the last five days, taking the number of patients hit by the mosquito-borne viral disease to 6,486, the highest since 1996. According to the Data released on Thursday, 25 people died of dengue this season. Records of major hospitals, however, put the number of dead at 43. Unreported cases, too, are much higher, with government hospitals across the Capital confirming more cases than the civic agency. “This year has been particularly bad because the circulating virus strains 2 and 4 are more deadly, uncontrolled construction and the heavy rains in July compounded the problem,” said Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services, Union Ministry of health. With 10,252 cases and 423 deaths, 1996 is the worst dengue year on record for Delhi.
It is a very unfortunate situation where everybody is trying to find fault with the other for the spread of the disease, which has hit the city real hard after a very long gap. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, which has been facing flak for failing to control the dengue situation in the national Capital, has blamed the BJP-run municipal corporations. It alleged that the civic bodies were misguiding people to cover up their failures. The municipal bodies, at their end, have blamed the city government of not releasing funds for healthcare. Governance deficit is a much bigger malaise for a society than any vector-borne disease. A crisis like the recent dengue outbreak could have been averted by proper planning and an awareness drive by both the municipal bodies and the state government. Both failed to deliver, and they are only adding to the crisis by refusing to come together to fight the eruption. The matter has now reached the courts. The Delhi High Court earlier this week directed the Aam Aadmi Party government to give details on funds released to civic bodies for dengue and malaria control programmes.