At least 50 people, including 40 children, have died in western Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district in the last 10 days from dengue. The state government said the deaths were due to “Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever,” which is a severe form of the disease.
Other districts in western UP like Mathura and Agra have also reported a rise in dengue, with hospitals teeming with children who are suffering from viral fever and dehydration.
“A team of the WHO has told me this is Haemorrhagic Dengue which is a very dangerous form of dengue. The platelet count of children collapses suddenly and there is a lot of bleeding,” Chandra Vijay Singh, the district Magistrate of Firozabad said in a video statement on Thursday.
A team of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme has been sent to Firozabad by the centre to help health officials.
Among the five deaths in Firozabad on Thursday was of 6-year-old Pallavi, who was brought to the designated 100-bed district hospital that is treating dengue cases. Visuals outside the hospital showed the child’s mother weeping and blaming government doctors for inaction and for not providing ambulances to transport the dead. The six-year-old was brought to the hospital on Tuesday with high fever and dehydration.
“We have hearse vans and even ambulances to transport bodies. You can see for yourself,” a doctor at the government hospital said in response to the allegations.
In Mathura, 60 km away from Firozabad, 11 children have died from fever and dehydration in just one village – Koh – in the last 15 days. The UP government said the deaths are due to vector-borne diseases, primarily dengue. Fifteen people have died in the district so far.
Visuals from a government hospital in Hapur, about 100 km from New Delhi, showed a paediatric (child) outpatient department filled with patients – mostly young children accompanied by their mothers.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has hit out at the state government over the incident. On Twitter, she claimed that over 100 people had died from viral fever across the state.
“Has the UP government not learned any lessons from the horrific consequences of its disastrous Covid management in the 2nd wave? All possible resources should be directed towards providing healthcare to the affected and taking adequate precautions to prevent the disease from spreading,” Ms Vadra said in her tweet.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Firozabad a few days ago and said all measures would be taken to help those who needed treatment. The top health official of the district, its chief medical officer, was transferred out after Yogi Adityanath’s visit.