LAHORE - Adviser on Health Kh Salman Rafiq has said dengue situation in Punjab is gradually improving and the number of dengue patients in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and other cities has reduced to half.

However, he said, due to dry weather and no substantial decrease in temperature during the day, dengue season in expected to last until December.

Salman was presiding over a meeting of cabinet committee on dengue, yesterday. MPA Pir Ashraf Rasool, Health Director General Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed, Environment Secretary Capt (r) Saif, senior officers of health and other departments as well as DCO Lahore were present on the occasion.

The DCOs of other distracts presented a report through video link about dengue situation and the measures for its control in their respective districts. The meeting was informed that the ratio of reporting of dengue patients in Rawalpindi and Islamabad has reduced to 50 percent and the situation has substantially improved.

Similarly, the number of under-treatment dengue patients in hospitals has also declined. Lahore DCO Muhammad Usman informed that dengue larvae have reduced outdoor in Lahore however there is still need for further efforts in this regard. Prof Waseem Akram said that target fogging and indoor spray will be conducted where needed so that dengue mosquito could be eliminated.

The environment secretary told the meeting that according to NASA and other international agencies, about 32 million ton waste was set on fire after harvesting of rice crop in Indian Punjab due to which environmental pollution and smog increased dangerously. However, he said, due to change in wind direction and extinguishing of fire in the fields, smog situation is improving in Lahore and other cities.

The secretary further said that factories and mills producing smoke and causing pollution in Lahore and other big cities have been closed. Salman Rafiq said that dengue situation could prolong as pollution is persisting and there has been no rain. He directed that all departments should continue anti-dengue activities so that situation could remain under control.