More than 40 people including 32 children have died due to viral fever, suspected by doctors to be dengue, in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district over the past 10 days.
Various reports, however, have pegged the death toll differently. NDTV puts the fatality number at 53 including 45 children.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently visited the district and initiated a probe into the deaths while instructing officials to ensure sufficient staff at the Autonomous State Medical College, Firozabad which reportedly has over 200 people including children admitted with suspected dengue cases.
District Magistrate Chandra Vijay Singh has also ordered classes from 1 to 8 in both government and private schools in the district to remain closed till September 6.
“There have been nearly 40 deaths in Firozabad in the last one week. Primary cause appears to be dengue, though other causes are being ascertained as well,” Indian Express quoted Amit Gupta, the Divisional Commissioner of Agra as saying.
Stating that viral fever is a major symptoms among a majority of patients admitted, Gupta said the administration has ramped up measures to supply platelets – being brought from Agra – to hospitals and inspections are being carried out by teams.
Gupta said while a few deaths have been reported from Mathura, they are suspected to be due to scrub typhus, caused by bacteria and not virus. However, the department has been asked to remain vigilant.
According to IE, as many as 210 children are admitted to the hospital’s special 300-bed ward as of Tuesday.
Doctors from Kannauj, Etawah and Agra have been deployed at the ward.
An air of anxiety and grief grips the ward with parents praying for their children to recover.
“About six days back, both my children were down with a fever; my daughter has passed away and my son is admitted now,” Sunil, a parent told NDTV.
“In children, the symptoms begin with fever, diarrhoea, and vomiting,” Dr Sangeeta Aneja, Dean of Autonomous State Medical College told IE.
Stating that the hospital on Tuesday had 23 cases of dengue, Dr Aneja said the doctors are keeping a 24*7 watch on children and setting up blood banks to ensure smooth supply of blood platelets required in the treatment process.
“There is also a high discharge rate. The next few days will be closely observed,” she said.
Aneja said all the children were being tested for COVID too, but none has tested positive.
During his visit to Firozabad, Adityanath said the suspected cases were reported from around eight or nine colonies in the town. A separate ward was set up at the medical college to accommodate the patients after residents intimated the medical department about the situation.
Stating that he has personally reviewed the situation and asked officials for a report on the outbreak, the chief minister said “if any negligence is found, responsibility will be fixed.”