The government has decided launching an anti-dengue initiative in Multan, to be pattern on measures taken in Lahore and Rawalpindi. Under the initiative an anti-dengue cellphone application will be launched, Kh Salman Rafique, adviser to Chief Minister on Health disclosed on Saturday.

Addressing a high-level meeting held to review arrangements for dengue elimination at Commissioner office on Saturday, he added that all the spots involved in dengue proliferation like tyre shops would be registered and all-out resources would be utilized to eliminate this killer disease from Multan. “These spots should be registered under the tag “hotspot” and they should be linked to anti-dengue application. The application will automatically identify the dengue-infested areas and point out the areas where dengue surveillance is needed,” he added.

The sudden dengue outbreak has risen the fears that Multan could be the second district after Rawalpindi where this fever can turn into an epidemic. Although the district government had declared dengue emergency on September 23 after 18 cases of dengue were reported from different areas of the town, the virus attack could not be contained and it further intensified, prompting the provincial government to send high health officials to this town.

Kh Salman Rafique directed the local administration to give the task of inspection of dengue-infested areas to the third party like entomologists of agriculture department after its first surveillance by the health officials.

He stressed upon the local administration to adopt practical steps instead of doing mere paperwork. “Instead of getting frightened, we need to adopt an effective strategy to defeat this disease. We need to do effective monitoring of dengue elimination teams,” he added. He said that the dengue larva and mosquito should be killed at their hatcheries and their spread to other areas should be contained through a robust campaign.

He declared that the provincial government would provide manpower and all other resources to strengthen dengue teams. He directed the TMAs, environment, solid waste management and other concerned departments to arrange android sets for the surveillance purpose.

Briefing the participants of the meeting, the Commissioner Multan division Assad Ullah Khan said that the surveillance of 1.6 million outdoor and 33000 indoor spots was carried out during ongoing year and larwa was found at 284 spots. He added that 282 spots were located in Multan and two Khanewal districts. He further revealed that a total of 158 patients had so far brought to Nishtar Hospital on suspicion of dengue fever out of which 43 turned out to be dengue positive. He said that the number of dengue patients in Multan in 2011 stood at 200.

Speaking on this occasion, the DCO Zahid Saleem Gondal said that 78 FIRs had been registered against shopkeepers and citizens for disobeying government’s instruction for dengue prevention. He revealed that a total of 185 teams had been constituted in the district to carry out dengue surveillance at union council level while 30 android sets were arranged for this purpose. He said that 4388 spots were inspected between September 1 and October 2 and dengue larva was located at 23 spots.

The Medical Superintendent of Nishtar Hospital Dr Ashiq Malik disclosed on this occasion that a total of 40 beds had been allocated for dengue patients in the hospital out of which 23 were placed in isolation ward and 17 as reserve. He added that another four beds were allocated for dengue patients in the ICU. He said that well trained doctors, paramedical staff and plenty of medicines were available at the hospital for dengue treatment.