KASUR-Speakers at a protest said that despite hectic efforts made by the government, dengue still has its roots in the district due to apathy of the officials concerned to ensure effective anti-dengue fumigation.

The protest was organised after a woman, resident of Wadana area, was diagnosed with dengue fever which made the people anger and forced to up against the alleged corruption of Health Department officials. “It is due to rampant corruption of Health Department’s officials that the funds, allocated for fumigation and cleanliness across the district, are never used for the true purpose,” they pointed out. They said that millions of rupees are spent on advertisement and seminars, organised to create awareness among the public to avoid dengue, but no practical steps could be taken to fumigate the areas to save people from this fatal disease.

The participants led by Pakistan Falah Party District Convener Baba Zafrullah Raza, Punjab Trade Wing Secretary General Ch Mehmood Elahi Chishti, Joint Secretary Hafiz Ghulam Murtaza and Finance Secretary Javed Ishaq criticised EDO Health Dr Tariq MAsood for his corruption and indifference. They said that the district administration has totally failed to eradicate the virus in the district as the man assigned for the purpose; never pay heed to the alarming matter. They alleged that the EDO not only uses the department vehicle for his personal works but also leaves the headquarters every evening to visit his private hospital located in the suburbs of Okara. He also takes bribe from quacks to allow them carry on their business, they alleged.

They demanded Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Secretary Health, and Lahore Division Commissioner to take stern action against the EDO Health. They also demanded anti-dengue fumigation in all areas of the district to avoid such cases in future.

On the other hand, the district administration sprang into action and completed anti-dengue fumigation in late night after the news spread in the district. The officials concerned also continued inspecting cleanliness arrangements the entire day made to avoid dengue. According to hospital sources, the woman fell ill about four days ago and was shifted to a private hospital in Kasur but the staff there referred her to Lahore Ittefaq Hospital where she was diagnosed as having dengue.

When Dr Masood contacted to get his point of view, he did not attend the call even after repeated attempts. A call was also made to Kasur DCO but she also did not respond.