The High Court Division on Wednesday directed the government to inform it by November 11, how many people really died due to dengue this year in the backdrop of unusually high number of people still getting infected by the deadly viral disease.
On Tuesday, the government confirmed 112 deaths caused by dengue after receiving reports about 251 suspected deaths due to dengue.
A bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued the suo moto directive at a scheduled hearing when officials of the city corporations of the capital came to submit reports regarding what they had done to control aedes mosquito breeding.
The court fixed Monday for the next hearing after the city corporation officials prayed for time to submit their compliance reports.
On August 28, the bench had directed the government to inform it about progress in controlling the spread of dengue.
At least 1,095 dengue patients were hospitalized across Bangladesh in the first six days of the current month.
In November last year at least 1,192 dengue patients were hospitalized, the highest for the month from 2008 to 2018.
In 2008, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research started keeping month-wise record of dengue patients eight years after dengue infection was reported in Bangladesh.
‘Compared with the previous years’ records, one gets a clear picture about the magnitude of this year’s dengue infection,’ IEDCR senior scientific officer ASM Alamgir told New Age.
‘The situation is quite unusual even now with a high number of dengue patients compared to the previous years,’ he said.
In previous years, the number of hospitalization of dengue patients increased in September and October, but this year the situation became alarming in August with at least 52,636 patients on hospital beds.
This September, the number of patients at hospitals dropped to 16,856 and in October to 8,143.
It would not be correct to compare the current situation with that of August, but between now and the situation in November of the previous years, said virologist Alamgir who had earlier worked at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
This year’s dengue outbreak was unprecedented with at least 97,193 patients getting hospitalized since January.
Dengue infections were initially confined to the capital, as had been the case since the first infection was reported in Bangladesh in 2000.
This year, however, dengue infection spread outside the capital, for the first time, in the fourth week of July.
Just in one week, dengue infection spread to the whole country and its severity exceeded that of the capital in the outlying districts.
Jahangirnagar University entomology professor Kabirul Bashar said that the dengue infection was likely to persist round the year henceforth.
‘The number of dengue patients might decrease in winter, that would be higher than the previous years,’ he said.
‘As dengue spread across the country this year it will be difficult to eradicate the viral disease,’ he said, though aedes mosquito breeding would decrease in winter, said Kabirul Bashar.
Health Services director for communicable disease control Sanya Tahmina said they were expecting the dengue situation to improve in the coming days.
‘We will continue to monitor aedes mosquito breeding,’ she added.
The Health Services recently conducted a nationwide survey to ascertain the aedes mosquito breeding picture. The report is under preparation, she said.
But officials who took part in the survey said they found unusually high number of aedes across the country.
Aedes aegypti were found in cities and towns and Aedes albopictus at small towns and rural areas, they said.
In recent weeks, the city corporations slowed down their mosquito-control drives as the number of dengue patient hospitalization decreased.
Residents in different areas of the capital said the city corporations had stopped their fumigation and that no city corporation official visited homes to inspect aedes breeding grounds.
Dhaka North City Corporation chief health officer Brig Gen Mominur Rahman Mamun said they slowed down their household inspection programme but not mosquito control programme.
‘It’s not possible to continue the inspections round the year, he said and added that the citizens should be aware about how to keep aedes mosquitos at bay.
News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net