Pune: With a surge in Swine flu deaths in recent months, the health scenario in Pune is further compounded with the spread of dengue cases leading to a face-off between city fathers and civic administration. Concerns are being expressed over about 300 dengue cases reported in the city during the last two and a half months out of which three proved to be fatal. The health authorities, already hard pressed to put in place effective measures to combat Swine Flu which has claimed as many as 25 victims since April, seem to be struggling to meet new threat in the form of rapidly increasing dengue cases.
Admitting a rise in dengue cases, Chief Medical officer of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said the city had witnessed 137 cases this month in addition to as many as 135 reported in September. "Dengue cases in the city are on the rise and still under-reported," he said, appealing the people to take urgent steps to control mosquito breeding in the clean and stagnant indoor water stock.
When corporators belonging to all parties attacked the civic administration in the General Body meeting on Thursday alleging laxity in handling the menace, PMC commissioner Mahesh assured the house that a detailed report on the measures initiated by the health officials would be presented on November 5. He also put the latest figure of dengue cases in the city at 360 which has set the alarm bells ringing.
The dengue menace at present is coupled with an increase in H1N1 infections in the city which had become an epicenter of Swine Flu in 2009 registering the first case of the deadly virus in the country. Swine Flu has claimed ten victims this month alone and 25 lives since April this year, officials noted.
A fluctuating climate characterised by sudden showers and subsequent lull and rise in temperatures could be a contributing factor to the growing cases of dengue fever and H1N1 infections in the city, they added. Agitated corporators have also called for recruitment of additional staff and budgetary provisions to tackle the health hazards being faced by the city whose population has now touched five million with gaping holes in its sanitation infrastructure.
A concerted awareness drive has been launched by civic health machinery emphasising on the breeding aspect of vector mosquitoes that grow in clean, domestic water storage as well as containers and old tyres that collect rainwater. All government and private hospitals have been advised to report dengue and Swine flu cases to civic authorities without any delay to strengthen monitoring mechanism.