NEW DELHI: As Delhi grapples with the worst outbreak of dengue in five years, hospitals are groaning under shortage of beds and doctors complaining of being overworked.
Even as health authorities have stepped up measures to control the vector-borne disease, the situation is yet to be contained with cases of dengue inching towards the 2,000 mark. To handle the rising dengue cases, Delhi government had yesterday ordered 600 new beds to be set up at three hospitals in Janakpuri, Ashok Vihar and Tahirpur areas.
"Out of 960 beds, almost 370 are already being occupied by 600 dengue patients. Nine wards are occupied by dengue patients. Even that is proving inadequate," said Bara Hindu Rao Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr VK Khurana With cases mounting, doctors at many hospitals including Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital are overworked. The patients are in no better condition with two-three of them sharing one bed while others wait anxiously for a bed.
The hospital is currently admitting dengue patients to only one ward but doctors said the other wards are also being converted to cope with the rush. At Safdarjung, patients are seen receiving saline lying on the floor, stretchers and corridors.
Meanwhile, the government has directed private hospitals to increase bed capacity by 10 to 20 per cent to deal with rising cases of the vector-borne disease and warned them of strict action if they turned away the patients. So far 14 people have died of dengue and over 1,900 have been affected by it. There has been widespread outrage in the city after Avinash Rout, a 7-year-old, and 6-year-old Aman Sharma died of dengue last week after allegedly being denied treatment by private hospitals. Avinash's parents committed suicide following his death.
To meet the requirement of staff, Delhi Government hospitals have ordered cancellation of leave of all doctors and paramedical staff including nurses and lab technicians.
As a precautionary measure, Delhi government has directed all schools to ensure that children come to school dressed in full sleeves shirts, trousers and salwar kameez for the next one month to prevent mosquito bites.