Civic agencies do not know where half the chikungunya cases are coming from as they say most hospitals record details of only those patients who get admitted and not of those who visit their out-patient departments (OPDs).
Of the 1,057 chikungunya cases reported till September 10, at least 400 don’t have patients’ addresses. In 105 cases, addresses given by patients are wrong, shows official data.
It seriously hampers efforts to control the outbreak, say municipal officials. “We have to intensify fumigation and spraying in areas from where cases are reported because the chances of the infection spreading in the vicinity are higher,” said municipal health officer of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Dr BK Hazarika.
“After infecting a person, the same mosquito can spread the virus among four to five people… We can’t prevent it if we don’t know the locations,” Hazarika said.
Ideally, all hospitals should be instructed to record the addresses of all patients referred for blood test, another health official said.
“Last week, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) shared the list of over 100 patients infected with chikungunya. But in all these cases, the addresses were missing. We wrote to them seeking complete information,” said Dr Hazarika.
An AIIMS official said their records were complete as it was mandatory for government hospitals to record details of all patients, even those visiting the OPD. “In fact, it is the municipal dispensaries where details are recorded in registers or temporary files. The problem can be sorted out if the government makes it mandatory for all medical institutions to record the details of patients,” said AIIMS spokesperson, Amit Gupta.
Meanwhile, the Centre’s nodal agency, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, asked the state government and municipal corporations to ensure proper documenting of all cases. “We had asked them to send their surveillance teams to hospitals (government as well as listed private ones) to get the actual data,” said the programme’s additional director, PK Sen.
Union health minister JP Nadda also asked the Delhi government for a detailed report on the deaths caused by chikungunya as well as the cases which were untraceable, said sources.