The toll of dengue patients is on the rise in the province, as five more cases of dengue fever were reported in Punjab on Tuesday. Two of the patients belonged to Lahore while three others belonged to Gujranwala, Narowal and Sheikhupura respectively. In the last three days, the total number of dengue patients in Lahore has reached six while the total number of patients has climbed to 42, which was 77 percent of the total cases reported in the province. Diagnostic tests of both patients in Lahore were carried out at the Institute of Public Health (IPH) located at Jail Road. Saqib Hafeez, a resident of Islampura, and Muhammad Nawaz of Kachupura were diagnosed with the virus. The other three cases were diagnosed and being treated in their respective district headquarters hospitals (DHQ). Dr Fouzia of Surraya Azeem Trust Hospital said that 40-year-old Saqib was tested for dengue after symptoms were observed and reports confirmed the presence of dengue virus and deficiency of platelets. She said the case was kept in the isolation ward while his condition was stable. The other patient, Muhammad Nawaz was not admitted to hospital and being taken care of at home. The Punjab health department spokesman rejected the claim that dengue was turning into an epidemic saying that the number of cases being diagnosed was normal. He said that free diagnostic and treatment facilities were being provided in all government hospitals across the province. Hospitals were also ordered to set up isolation wards for patients, he added. Malaria was more prevalent in villages because its carrier mosquito breeds in open places, on the contrary, dengue carrier breeds in thickly-populated areas and could not resist high temperatures due to which most cases were being diagnosed in Lahore, he observed. The spokesman said that awareness of public regarding preventive measures was more important than treatment. Room coolers and tubs of water in houses were vulnerable places for breeding of Aedes Aegypti, the mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus, he warned. It was impossible for the Punjab government to fumigate every house, he said adding that where a person was diagnosed with dengue fever, 15 houses around the victim’s house were fumigated. He urged people to participate in eradication of dengue fever.