- 2nd highest infections, deaths this year in recent years
- This year, 25,000 people have been infected with dengue this year so far while 96 died
- After treatment, 24,000 people have returned home this year
- DGHS information does not portray real scenario of outbreak
- The actual number of dengue patients at least 20 times more than DGHS estimate
- Over 12 lakh have been infected this year, as per an unofficial estimate
Despite various efforts made by the twin city corporations of Dhaka, the Aedes mosquito-borne dengue infections in the country is still not coming under control.
Although the number of dengue patients started declining last month, it is not decreasing as per the expectation this month. In recent years, Bangladesh has already identified and recorded the second highest number of dengue patients and deaths this year.
According to the Health Emergency Operations and Control Room of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), this year, 25,241 people have been infected with dengue so far while 96 people have died.
A number of 176 patients were admitted to various hospitals across the country in the last 24 hours till 8am on Thursday, the second highest in this month. In 11 days of this month, 1,586 dengue patients were admitted to hospital while five died this month. After treatment, 24,461 people have returned home this year.
Sources concerned said the information that the DGHS sends every day to the media does not portray the real situation of the outbreak as it does not contain the information of all the hundreds of hospitals and clinics treating dengue patients.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), less than 2% of those infected are compiled in the government's list. The DGHS says more than 25,000 dengue patients have been admitted to hospital so far this year. As such, more than 12 lakh people have been infected with dengue in the country this year.
The highest number of dengue patients in Dhaka were treated at Sir Salimullah Medical College and Mitford Hospital where 21 people have died due to dengue.
The hospital's Director Brigadier General Kazi Md Rashid Un Nabi told The Business Standard, "Although the number of dengue patients in our hospital has decreased a little as compared to the last two months, the number of patients admitted in November is higher than last year. No one has died in the last five days. The condition of the patients is better than before."
At present, according to the data of 46 hospitals in Dhaka, 550 people are receiving treatment in these hospitals and 134 dengue patients are receiving treatment in the districts outside the capital.
In January this year, 32 people were treated for dengue in hospitals, 9 in February, 13 in March, 3 in April, 43 in May, 272 in June, 2,286 in July, 7,698 in August, 7,841 in September and 5,458 in October were treated at different hospitals after being infected with dengue.
According to the DGHS, the census of dengue patients in the country started for the first time in 2000, when 93 people died and 5,551 were infected. The number of dengue deaths in 2019 was 156, surpassing all previous records. In that year, 101,354 patients were infected with the virus. In 2020, the dengue situation came somewhat under control as only six people died and 1405 were infected as per the government estimate.
President of the Dhaka Centre for Governance Studies and also an Eentomologist Dr Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury told TBS that the number of dengue cases is declining slowly this year as compared to other years. This is due to heavy rains this year and it deteriorated due to the negligence of the twin city corporations in taking proper measures in time to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue infection cannot be controlled through grand displays only.
He said, "If the city corporation did not take any steps at all to control the Aedes mosquito, the infection rate would have remained more or less the same. Compared to other countries of the world, Bangladesh is after Brazil in respect of the gruesomeness of dengue menace. Although the dengue situation in Delhi is bad, it is in a better position than Bangladesh due to their success in controlling the outbreak."
"We only get the number of dengue patients from 46 hospitals. The actual number is much higher. The actual number of dengue infected patients is at least 20 times more than the number provided by the DGHS," he added.