ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) dengue cell staff on Saturday in protest stopped work for two hours in the morning and demanded from hospital administration to provide more workforce from administration to cater growing number of dengue patients.

The dengue cell staff had asked the hospital administration a month ago for adding more workforce to cater the patients.

In last 24 hours, 1,900 dengue suspects were brought to hospital, while 800 confirm patients were registered.

The staff on protest said that daily hundreds of dengue patients visit hospital and the staff deployed on duty is overburdened with work.

They said that overload of work since the dengue season started has exhausted them and they want more number of staff to be deployed to examine dengue patients.

Video footages also showed empty counters of the dengue cell at PIMS.

Spokesperson PIMS Dr. Waseem Khawaja said that daily hundreds of dengue suspects visit hospital and PIMS has received over 5,000 dengue suspects during season.

“No doubt huge patients’ influx remained on PIMS,” he said.

Dr. Waseem said that despite of thousands of patients PIMS has provided healthcare as per its capacity.

He said that there is already shortage of nursing staff at PIMS and in emergency situations indeed it is difficult to manage with existing strength.

He said that there was no suspension of services for patients however concerns of the staff of dengue patients have been observed and its strength will be increased as per capacity of the hospital.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza headed the daily dengue meeting attended by executive directors of the public sector hospitals and administration of the twin cities.

A statement issued by Ministry of National Health Services said that a major policy has been prepared to cater dengue in twin cities.

It said that for elimination of dengue from twin cities, the health ministry and Pakistan Red Crescent Society has planned a joint strategy.

Dr Zafar Mirza said that under the project Rs19.64 million will be allocated for next three months for the elimination of dengue.

He said that the dengue control project is being launched in the areas of twin cities where most patients were identified.

Dr. Mirza said that around 20,000 people will benefit from this project. And the ministry is also taking provinces on board to face the dengue challenge in future.

He said the number of dengue cases are decreasing gradually while door to door campaign will be started for elimination of dengue larva.

Dr. Zafar said that suspected dengue cases will be screened and dengue awareness material will be given to 3,000 persons.

He said that 70 volunteers will be trained in each sector where dengue cases will be reported.