LAHORE - Another six people were killed by the dengue virus in Lahore on Thursday, as Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said a comprehensive strategy had been evolved to take the dengue virus head on and its complete implementation was being ensured. Officials said 603 more patients were tested positive for dengue across Punjab, with 500 new cases diagnosed positive in Lahore alone. According to official statistics, dengue has caused 40 deaths so far, while the total number of dengue patients in Punjab was touching 9,000. Earlier in the day, Shahbaz went to the houses of several citizens as part of the dengue awareness campaign and informed people about the dangers of the virus and ways to mitigate the risk.
Later, chairing a meeting held to review the ongoing drive against dengue virus, Shahbaz said the government had decided to establish Dengue Eradication Force on a permanent basis, which would not only take steps for elimination of dengue virus, but also work against other viral diseases. He said the role of Institute of Public Health was of vital importance in curbing viral diseases, therefore, it should be reorganised to make it vibrant and functional. He directed all town committees to submit reports regarding spray and other preventive steps against dengue virus in public and private educational institutions of their respective areas on Saturday. The chief minister said all out resources were being utilised for eradication of dengue virus and protecting the people against this disease, adding that masses had been mobilised through a vigorous awareness campaign. He said besides the establishment of the Dengue Eradication Force, a separate research cell was being set up for the purpose, both of which he would personally supervise.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team of medical experts visited Lahore General Hospital on Thursday, where Prof Tariq Salahuddin, the LGH head, briefed the team on the situation of dengue patients. According to statistics issued by the National Health Department, more than 7,644 patients were suffering from dengue fever in Punjab, 280 in Sindh, 163 had been affected in Islamabad, 90 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 128 in Rawalpindi.