The epidemic of dengue is affecting people’s lives severely across Pakistan. The current wave of monsoon in the country has given the virus a new life. Two hundred eighteen new patients were reported only a day before yesterday across Punjab. The fact that most of the patients are from Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, and Lahore should inform the government which areas to focus on. In the current year alone, the number of dengue cases reported has reached 3,211. This figure alone shows the government’s response to deal with the dengue crisis. After the initial spell, the health sectors of all the provinces showed some vigilance. However, the spread of dengue fever can only be curbed by careful planning before monsoon season hits Pakistan.

At this point, the rain showers are making it difficult to get hold of the situation. Water standing stagnant anywhere gives birth to dengue larvae, and at this point, the health care services lack any vaccination or treatment for dengue virus. Many patients also end up losing their lives due to the lack of proper medication after being affected. Last week, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Lahore Saleha Saeed was also dismissed in light of the number of dengue cases reported. But such last-minute measures also add to the problem because bringing in a new person to manage the situation requires time. While the fever has resurfaced with full force, the government cannot excuse itself from responsibility to protect people from it. The health departments should have a better idea of what does it take to control dengue.

The dengue eradication programme needs to gain momentum. Dengue control teams need to carry on inspecting potential sites that are nurseries for the dengue larvae across in every nook and corner of the country. At the same time, the government must also alert private and public hospitals to be able to identify the dengue fever so that there is no delay in treatment. Several patients lose their lives due to delayed identification of the disease, which then prevents full recovery. Furthermore, the government should impose a health emergency to ensure that the hospitals are not short on medicines.

The masses should also be made aware of these arrangements and can also be urged to participate in the matter. Easy steps can be taken to prevent dengue larvae from being born. At the same time, people can take small steps to protect themselves from such mosquito bites as well. Eradication of dengue is a two-way process; both, the government and the masses need to play their respective roles to bring down the number of affectees.