LAHORE The menace of dengue fever continues to haunt the Lahorites with ever increasing intensity since six more lost their lives while another 824 were tested positive for the deadly virus on Sunday. Moon Usman (18), Bashir Masih (60), a resident of Gulberg, and Roshan (65), a resident of Sheranwala, died at Mayo Hospital. Khalida Bibi (35), a resident of Daroghawala, and Rasheeda Bibi (80), a resident of Samanabad, died at Services Hospital. Abida (27), a resident of Walton, died at Lahore General Hospital. As many as 824 persons were tested positive for dengue in the City, taking the overall tally to 12,109 till Sunday. Out of 824 new cases, 246 were tested positive at Mayo Hospital, 85 at Childrens Hospital, 74 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, 54 at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, 50 at Jinnah Hospital, 45 at Institute of Public Health, 44 at LGH, 16 at Services Hospital while 210 were tested positive at various private health care centres in the City. With the menace spreading tentacles to other cities after taking Lahore completely in its grip, the provincial metropolis is making every possible effort to reduce the intensity of dengue virus. After directing service stations and tyre shops to stop functioning, the government forcibly closed down such facilities in various areas in a desperate move to eliminate breeding sites of larva and mosquitoes. Talking to the newsmen after a seminar in the City, Minister for Food Ch Abdul Ghafoor said that the Punjab govt was going to establish an authority to save people from the menace of dengue virus next year. He said that the government was also taking action against private hospitals and labs involved in charging extra fee for dengue tests. With ever increasing complaints of minting money by private hospitals and labs, the City District Government continued action against laboratories charging extra fee for dengue tests. A special team, headed by District Officer Monitoring and Inquiries Amin Akbar Chopra, got registered FIRs against 20 laboratories for charging extra fee for CBC tests. The laboratories against whom action was taken included Accurate Lab near Raiwind, Saad Clinic Lab Samanabad, Hamza Lab Rasool Park, Alaziv Ultrasound, Lahore Lab, Tariq X-Rays, Advance Care, United Lab and National Lab near Lahore General Hospital, Shalimar Haspital at Shalimar Link Road, Salman Chughtai Lab Gulberg III, Hassan Lab, New Finical Lab opposite Pakistan Mint, Finical Pathological Lab Dilshad Street, Ittefaq Lab, Qadir Lab, The State Lab, Agha Khan Lab, Chughtai Lab and Doctor Medical Lab Wasanpura, Meanwhile, addressing a Press conference at LGH committee room, Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute and LGH Prof Tariq Salah-ud-din said that dengue fever did not spread by touching. 'Most of the people are rushing to hospitals due to panic and fear. The over-loaded situation at teaching hospitals can be normalised by providing diagnostic facilities at primary health care units. Public should strictly observe the preventive measures instead of being afraid of dengue, he added. Tariq Salah-ud-Din said that dengue patients have been provided with all possible facilities at LGH. During last 17 days, around one lakh people approached LGH for treatment and 63,000 persons underwent for the CBC tests.About 273 people were tested positive for dengue and out of these 3 could not survive. He said that the hospitals data showed that the ratio of patients falling victim to dengue was not more than 2 per cent, so public should not be frightened. He said that LGH has made comprehensive arrangements to face menace of dengue. Hospitals OPD was decided to be opened 24 hours for the first time in Pakistan, he added. Emergency was declared and weekly offs of doctors and other staff were suspended. Even the nursing students and dispensers were deputed to look after the patients cancelling their regular classes, he stated. Hospitals phase II building, well equipped with all medical facilities, was specified only for dengue patients while a number of 12 CBC machines were functional round the clock to help dengue patients, he said. Dr Tariq Salah-ud-din told that LGH has capacity of 1,000 patients but presently almost 6,000 were coming to the hospital and being treated by clinical as well as administrative doctors on daily basis. He said that LGH administration was spending all the resources on dengue patients and the Punjab Chief Minister was working relentlessly to curb this menace. The team of Sri Lankan experts was also being consulted but the basic responsibility lies on citizens to keep their homes mosquitoes free by using spray, fumigation, mosquitoes repellent and not allowing stagnant water to be pounded anywhere, he added. Director General Lahore Development Authority Abdul Jabbar Shaheen has directed for extending free blood testing facility to the people visiting LDAs 'Dengue Diagnostic and Treatment Centre that had been established at its s Township office at a cost of Rs 2 million. Dr Nisar Ahmad, Senior Medical Officer LDA, has informed that the centre was functioning from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and test report was being provided in only 10 minutes. Meanwhile, LDA has directed all the private housing schemes of the City for carrying out anti-mosquito spray and fogging with a view to curbing the menace of dengue. Two special teams, headed by Deputy Directors of the Metropolitan Planning Wing of LDA, comprising other officers and staff, had visited a as many as 21 private housing schemes in the City during the past two days for ensuring anti-mosquito spray in these areas. These teams had urged the developers and sponsors of these schemes for arranging and repeatedly carrying out sprays in these localities. On the directives of DG LDA, fumigation and anti- mosquito spray was carried out in 13 storey building of LDA Plaza, situated at Egerton Rod on Saturday.