Dengue situation in Bengal 'quite alarming', not critical, say experts

The experts said they hope the situation will improve soon as the disease had already peaked

Representative image of a mosquito (Photo: Getty Images)
Representative image of a mosquito (Photo: Getty Images)


Terming the dengue situation in West Bengal as "quite alarming", leading doctors of the state said the vector-borne disease this year is not that severe compared to previous years.

The experts said they hope the situation will improve soon as the disease had already peaked.

"The situation is definitely alarming. But its severity is not like previous years. Cases are high because people are testing. Most of the cases are getting cured at home," child specialist Dr Apurba Ghosh told PTI.

He said he was receiving reports of at least six to seven positive cases daily at the city-based Institute of Child Health (ICH).

Echoing Ghosh's claims, Peerless Medical superintendent Dr Sudipta Mitra also said cases will dip with the monsoon receding.

"We are having fluctuating dengue numbers this year. But the severity is unlike previous years. The death rate is low as people are going for early tests helping us to treat patients before it is too late. I will not call this an alarming situation," Dr Mitra said.

Peerless Hospital, he said, is getting an average of 50 patients a week.

Dr Arjun Dasgupta described the dengue situation in Bengal as "seriously alarming" and accused the administration of "suppressing" the real numbers making it difficult for doctors to carry out treatment.

"It is seriously alarming. This has become an annual event. However, I am surprised with the attempts of the administration to suppress the figures. This is not helping the doctors in fighting the disease," Dr Dasgupta told PTI.

Dr Anirban Chattopadhyay of CK Birla Hospitals termed the situation as "alarming", but said it is not that severe this year.

"Dengue cases are quite alarming this year. We are getting several patients every day and there are many in the ICU. But this time the severity is less. The big difference is that people are going for tests on time," Dr Chattopadhyay said.

AMRI's Dr Sayan Chakraborty, however, differed in his opinion about the disease not being very severe this year.

He believes that cases might increase in the coming weeks with the MeT department forecasting more rain.

"I do not think that the severity is less. In fact, it has gone up. We have over 90 patients in three units," Dr Chakraborty said.

A senior official of the state health department said that the dengue situation in Bengal is "absolutely under control" and the government has taken all precautionary measures to combat it.

"The situation in Bengal is under control. There is nothing to worry about. We have taken all sorts of measures to combat it. We are hopeful that with monsoon receding in the coming days, the situation will improve," the official said.

On Tuesday, chief secretary HK Dwivedi claimed that the number of cases was declining and there were 2,000 people infected with the disease. He said the situation would improve within a couple of weeks and urged people not to panic.

On Monday, the state government had issued a series of measures to control the spread of the diseases.

It also directed officials in the districts to immediately clean all dengue hotspots, based on entomological alerts.

It also cautioned people of strict legal action in case they are found not following the measures.

The districts were also asked to carry out special drives in the peri-urban areas for improvement of sanitation and waste management.

The district magistrates were also directed by Dwivedi to distribute mosquito nets in slums and hotspot areas, a statement issued from the state secretariat said.

A decision was also taken to conduct an orientation programme of the newly-elected members of the Panchayati Raj Institutions.

Leaves of all the officials/staff associated with dengue management programme in the state has also been cancelled till the situation normalises. 

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Published: 27 Sep 2023, 2:29 PM