Chikungunya claimed its first Dwarka victim on Monday, with reports of a death from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. The victim, Uday Shankar Prasad, 61, was a resident of Satya Heights Society, Amberhai, Sector 19. He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday.
Apart from Prasad, 62-year-old Ashok Chauhan passed away on the same day, and Prakash Kalra, 75, from Mathura died at the hospital yesterday. One more death has been reported from this hospital, taking the toll to four so far. Apollo Hospital has reported five casualties, and Hindu Rao Hospital one.
The whole city is in a state of panic, and RWAs and other social organisations are furious with the lackadaisical approach of the civic authorities, such as the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
Sunil Sareen, joint secretary of Dwarka Forum and a resident of Bharat Vandana Society, Sector 19, said, “The situation is really bad in Dwarka this time. I have never seen such carelessness on the part of the civic agencies! So far, no preventive steps have been taken. Now a death has been reported, but the SDMC is silent.”
He further added, “The civic agencies are seemingly not bothered about waterlogging in the drains — which is ideal for mosquito breeding. Also, garbage dumped carelessly across the city has been rendered more lethal with standing rain water. It’s time they treated the situation like an emergency.”
Dr Charu Goel of Venkteshwar Hospital, Dwarka, said, “The number of chikungunya cases has risen in comparison to last month. Earlier, out of 15, five would be chikungunya patients. Now, that number has shot to six, even seven. This year, chikungunya is more widespread than dengue.”
She added, “Most of the deaths this year have occurred in the geriatric group. A major portion of our population comprises the elderly, with several health problems such as diabetes, blood pressure and others. They are thus more vulnerable to this fever.”
Preventive measures are largely missing, feel residents. For instance, fogging didn’t happen in quite a few places, or it happened just once in some. Secretary of Himachali Apartments, Jitender Uppal, said, “Dense fogging is the need of the hour. The corporation can also take the help of RWAs and other social organisations. We are all willing to cooperate.”
Shameera Ashroff, general secretary of the Association of Neighbourhood Ladies Get Together (ANHLGT), said, “The community is doing its bit in managing garbage inside the society and keeping waterlogging in check. But residents don’t have control over places outside the premises. We keep our homes and societies clean. But, unfortunately, the corporation is doing nothing.”
PB Mishra, general secretary of Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi (SDKS) Sanstha and a resident of Chitrakoot Apartments, Sector 22, said, “Dwarka, which prides itself on being well planned and well maintained, has reported a number of cases. Strangely, it does not have a single government hospital.” The treasurer of SDKS, SP Malik, and his wife, too, have suffered from the dreaded fever recently.
According to the president of Akash Ganga Society, Sector 6, SN Vashitha, about seven to eight cases have been reported from his complex.