Deaths fail to change situation

Residents of dengue-infested Shahbad Dairy allege apathy by govt

 Whether the 10 recent deaths in Shahbad Dairy region of Rohini zone were because of dengue or not, is not the main issue for local residents.

The are more worried about the `apathy' towards the area, which they say has led to hundreds of people falling ill with the disease.

While fogging machines and dengue prevention teams have been rushed to the area after much initial delay, local residents alleged that this has failed to change the situation much.

“Dengue has been prevalent in the area for over a month now, but they arrived only after the media attention. Even then, the fogging is being done only by the roadside, never inside our homes despite repeated requests,” said Tara Chand, a resident of E-block of Shahbad Dairy.

Residents claimed that over a hundred of them have been fined for storing water, but they are not receiving regular water supply.

“A pipeline has been laid for over a year now, but we are yet to receive water. We are forced to store water for three to four days at a time as tankers are irregular. Should we then be held responsible for dengue menace?” said Sanjay Kumar, uncle of two-year-old Ankush who was among the 10 dead.

Treatment costly

Those with with dengue symptoms are forced to opt for costly treatment at private hospitals as, they allege, that the government hospitals in the area don't give them the necessary care.

Vimlesh Kumar Bharti, brother-in-law of 25-year-old Chander Kala who died at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital on Tuesday – and is on the disputed list of dengue deaths – said despite getting a bed at this public hospital, they rushed her to a private hospital, spending over Rs 35,000.

“We put her on the floor after she was allotted a bed with three other patients. But despite her wriggling with pain, no doctor came to monitor her. After waiting for almost two hours, we took her to a private hospital where she died,” he said.

Though the private hospital, in its report,  mentioned that she died of dengue shock syndrome, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation refused to accept that. Y S Mann, NDMC Spokesperson, said tests done by a private clinic showed negative results for IgM and IgG tests, thus making it a non-dengue death.

Angry Shahbad Dairy residents are unwilling to buy the NDMC version on the reason for the deaths.  “Doesn’t it seem a strange coincidence that so many people in one locality could die in a span of two days due to various diseases?” said Vinod Kumar, a grocery shop owner there.

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