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Pakistan Dengue cases reach 9,781 as WHO team due for help


12:20, September 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- A team of experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) will be arriving here on Sunday to help Pakistan deal with the fast growing threat from Dengue fever, which has affected 9,781 people and killed up to 100 persons, officials and media said on Saturday.

"A WHO Dengue Fever Expert team will reach Islamabad tomorrow ( Sunday), which will suggest measures to authorities to eliminate breeding sites and vector control measures," the PM office said.

Local TV channel ARY reported that the death toll from the Dengue fever reached 102 as 8 more people including two women died in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, the worst affected region.

Punjab Health Department said that a total of 9,781 suspected cases had been reported over the past two weeks, including 8,769 alone in Lahore. A total of 379 new cases were reported on Saturday, officials said.

The WHO team will visit Lahore to discuss with the health officials and government authorities the measures to control the epidemic.

Another team from Indonesia, one of the affected countries, will also visit Pakistan next week at the invitation of the Pakistani government to help the authorities in controlling the fever.

All hospitals are running short of beds and many suspected people complained about lack of doctors and medical facilities.

At least seven people including two women died of the dengue virus, taking the death toll in Punjab to 83, reported local media Express on Saturday.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has issued directives for the setting up of field hospitals in Punjab to help with the treatment of dengue patients, officials said.

He presided over a special meeting to evaluate measures taken to combat the virus and directed the authorities to increase the number of technical staff by conducting walk-in interviews. It was also noted in the meeting that more than 600 nurses have been hired and 18 new cell separator machines will be imported.

He said in the long run a hundred dispensaries will be set up to treat dengue patients for free throughout the year.

Director General Health Punjab Aslam Chaudhry said that special units have been established in six major hospitals of Lahore to combat the epidemic in the province.

Chaudhry told reporters that injections were being imported for the treatment of the virus and will be available at all government hospitals soon. He said there are still more than 1,300 patients admitted in hospitals while over 8,000 suspected patients have been released after treatment since the outbreak.


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