FAISALABAD-Two more chickenpox patients succumbed to the contagious disease here at Allied Hospital, taking the death toll to 14 in the current year so far.

According to the hospital sources, both the patients - Mumtaz Bibi, 60, resident of Chiniot and Muhammad Asghar, a resident of Dijkot, died during the past 48 hours.

They informed that 50 patients are still under treatment in the Allied Hospital.

Another source informed that despite rising death toll from the disease, there is shortage of Chickenpox vaccine and other life saving drugs in the entire Faisalabad division. He informed that vaccination and other requisite drugs are only available for doctors and paramedics. The source maintained that Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif was kept in the dark during his visit to the city and did not inform about the outbreak of chickenpox. "The health department and even the public representatives did not inform the CM during visit to Children Hospital where he inaugurated Emergency ward of the hospital," he regretted.

He alleged that the Punjab government high-ups seem ignorant about the extent of the outbreak as a result there is severe shortage of requisite medical facilities.

Earlier, the Allied Hospital administration had claimed that they had informed the Health Department high-ups about the epidemic, hoping that the "mighty babus" would dispatch chickenpox vaccinations and drugs soon. On the ground, however, there seems nothing, which is also visible from the death toll.

It is to be noted that last year some 25 patients of chickenpox were admitted to Allied Hospital, out of which one patient had died. However, during the current year so far, 39 chickenpox patients were bought to the Allied Hospital.

The source alleged that due to the negligence of the Health Department, chickenpox is assuming the proportion of an epidemic in Faisalabad division.

Another, source claimed that some 50 chickenpox patients are under treatment in Allied Hospital but the hospital administration denies the huge number of patients. Though the hospital has set up a specialised ICU ward where a seven member boards of doctors and professors along with their team are effectively looking after the patients, but the rising death toll, however, reflects negligence of the Health Department and doctors.