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HC for taking effective measures to contain Dengue spread

  • Published at 10:06 pm August 28th, 2019
Dengue patients-Jessore
File photo: Dengue patients receive treatment at Jessore General Hospital Dhaka Tribune

The DAG appeared in court to submit a report over the situation of dengue after the vacation

The High Court has ordered the authorities concerned to take more effective measures to control the Aedes mosquito responsible for spreading dengue.

Insecticides have to be spread intensively to destroy the mosquito breeding fields across the country, the court said.

At a suo moto ruling hearing, the HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi, asked the government authorities concerned, and the two city corporations of Dhaka, to submit separate reports by October 16 regarding progress on preventive steps taken to fight the menace.

During the hearing, lawyers for the government and Dhaka city corporations sought that the court not form any enquiry committee to identify the persons responsible for not purchasing effective medicine to kill the mosquitoes on time.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Quazi Mynul Hasan told the court, employees are there at the field level to kill mosquitoes. If an enquiry committee is formed, their activities might be hampered. If necessary, the government will make a long term plan which will consider the recent reality. The dengue situation could have been worse if the government had not taken steps. 

The court drew the attention of the state lawyer towards the geographic information which shows how the mosquito menace spread. Earlier, it was only in Dhaka and later it spread across the country. 

The DAG appeared in court to submit a report over the situation of dengue after the vacation. 

The court told the DAG, everyday, four to five dengue patients died and there was no day when the media did not report fresh dengue deaths. A strong inquiry is needed to determine the actual number of deaths, said the court.

Barrister Toufiq Inam represented the Dhaka North City Corporation.

On August 20, the same bench came down heavily on the two city corporations of Dhaka, as new patients continued to be hospitalized and ineffective mosquito insecticides were used.

“Every day, new patients are being admitted to hospitals. There is no effect of using insecticides. Allah is saving us,” the bench said. 

It asked the city corporations to submit a report to the court on how and where the city corporation staff is working.  The court sought another report on the number of dengue patients in the country. It also asked the government to submit a long term plan to prevent dengue. 

The HC asked the Deputy Attorney General Kazi Mainul Hasan about the monitoring and whether the funds allotted by the Local Government Ministry to city corporations have been properly used or not.

The High Court also said there should be an investigation to find out why the dengue menace has spread so much this time.

Dengue menace

Bangladesh has been struggling to contain the dengue outbreak this year with 66,064 patients hospitalized since January 1. Of them, 60,569 were discharged after recovery.

In the 24 hours till 8am on Tuesday, 1,299 new dengue patients were hospitalized. Currently, 5,322 people are being treated at different hospitals and clinics, the government said. Of them, 2,999 are in Dhaka and 2,323 are outside the capital.

Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection, causes a flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. About half of the world's population is now at risk, the WHO says.

Southeast Asian countries are seeing huge increases in fatal dengue cases this year. There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below one percent.

According to data collected from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 52 dengue patients have died across Bangladesh from January 1 till August 27. However, the unofficial death toll is reported to be over 121, so far.

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