New Delhi: Hospitals in the city have seen a huge influx of patients in the last week which has been panicked by the rise in dengue, chickungunya and other vector-borne diseases. All major hospitals in the city have started temporary fever clinics to deal with complains of water-borne diseases.
Safdarjung Hospital in south Delhi has converted its Psychiatric Ward into a fever clinic where a number of doctors are diagnosing outdoor patients with symptoms of dengue and chickungunya. “Even the general wards are now full, so we have converted our psychiatric ward into a full-fledged clinic. This year there’s been a huge increase in chickungunya cases,” said Dr. Vaibhav Srivastava.
“I was running fever for the past two days, so I decided to get myself checked in case I have dengue or malaria. There are very few doctors a lot of patients here,” said Hira Singh (23), who had her blood test and was tested negative for dengue or malaria.
Doctors have been sending patients tested positive for dengue or chickungunya to the general wards, the others are being given paracetamols and are advised bed rest at their homes. “Most of the patients here have come from really far. There’s a fear in villages that dengue is on the rise, and people are not taking risk and travelling far to have a check-up at city hospitals,” said Dr. Tarun Anand who has been treating patients from the fever clinic at Safdarjung Hospital.
Chetna Gupta (45), residing in Faridabad came with her husband to Safdarjung Hospital after she complained of excessive body pain and swollen joints. She was diagnosed with chickungunya and admitted to the general ward. “Doctors will run a couple of tests in the evening and then decide the course of action. We have an open pond beside our house and the place is a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Chetna’s husband, Harish.
At Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in Dilshad Garden, the hospital administration has decided to allow patients with dengue and chickungunya in their private wards. “The private wards usually have empty beds so we decided to put dengue and chickungunya patients in those beds as there is a massive paucity of beds in the general wards,” said a senior doctor.
“The majority of patients here have chickungunya. We are screening patients in the fever clinic and the serious cases are being admitted while we are requesting others to take rest at their homes only,” said Hema Devi, a senior nurse at GTB Hospital.
Doctors at Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan Hospital near Delhi Gate have complained about patients crowding hospitals. “Even patients with mild fever are flocking the hospitals when they can easily go to any local clinic. We have 200 patients for every 40 beds. We had to start makeshift clinics to deal with chickungunya and dengue cases,” said Dr. Anil Rathinasabapathy, Resident Medical Officer at Lok Nayak JP Hospital.
“We already had two cases of dengue in our family, when my mother said she’s having fever and body pain, I couldn’t take the risk so I bought her here for a check-up,” said Shehnaz Jawed (32) who hails from Wazirabad.
This article first appeared in The Times of India, Delhi Edition issue dated 31.08.2016