Wednesday December 12, 2018

Delhi records highest dengue cases as national count doubles

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: Number of dengue cases reported in the country went up to 19,704 this year, which is double of the last year’s figures. By the end of August, cases have already crossed 2014’s count of 10,097.

The alarming data also revealed that 41 people have lost their lives till now. Last year 37 deaths were reported due to dengue. However some sort of relief has come in the form of falling fatality rate which has gone down to 0.20 percent.

According to a Health Ministry statement, fatality rate last peaked high in 1996, when casualties rose to 3 percent.

The report also stated that the most number of dengue cases were reported from Delhi with 1,259 cases. Next was Bangalore with 1,139 cases followed by Greater Mumbai and Kolkata with 306 and 187 cases, respectively.

Arunachal’s East Siang district recorded the most number of dengue cases (district wise) in 2015. Out of 1,681 cases reported in Arunachal Pradesh, 1,618 came from East Siang alone. Among other districts, Chittoor in Arunachal had 761 cases, while Thiruvananthapuram (602 cases) and Kasargod (443 cases) comes next in the list.

Looking for a taking major initiative on the issue, the Union Health Ministry is planning to ban rapid diagnostic test kits for dengue. The ministry is in talks with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for taking the kit off the market because of its poor error rate. Reportedly, the diagnostic test kit falsely indicates majority of cases as positive which only creates confusion among dengue suspects.

Talking about the present scenario in hospitals, Director General, Health Services, Dr. Jagdish Prasad said, “At present hospitals have to notify only those cases in which test has been performed by IgM or Elisa. The rapid test kit sometimes indicates wrong result in as many as 50 percent cases. We are consulting ICMR for issuing a notification to ban the kit.”

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Air Quality In Delhi Very Low, No Sign Of Improvement

SAFAR has advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

The air quality deteriorated to ‘very poor’ in the national capital Delhi and areas around it due to low wind speed and marginal effect of stubble burning in neighbouring states.

Several areas across Delhi also saw ‘severe-plus’ and ‘severe’ air quality due to high level of particle pollution, which remained over 10 times the safe limit.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was 337 or very-poor against 273 or poor or Thursday. The AQI at Anand Vihar was 407 and of Mundaka was 432, both under ‘severe’ category.

PM2.5, or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm, is still the dominant pollutant. Despite dry and cool north-westerly winds, the air quality dropped to the average PM2.5 over 37 areas of Delhi recording 191 microgrammes per cubic meters, against 134 units on Thursday and 240 units on Wednesday.

India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A man walks in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA

“Air Quality Index will remain in very poor category on Saturday. A slight improvement is predicted later,” said a forecast by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

According to weather analysts, wind speed at present is slow allowing the pollutant to accumulate.

“Stubble fire will have a marginal impact,” SAFAR said.

Also Read: Tips to Improve The Air Quality of Your Home

SAFAR has advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.

“If asthmatic, keep relief medicine handy,” the warning added. (IANS)