KP govt braces for protests as dengue kills two more
PESHAWAR – The dengue fever on Saturday took two more lives in the provincial metropolis, taking the death toll to 33 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa so far.
Turab, son of Hassan, resident of Tehkal Bala, had been brought to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) for treatment on Friday after being bitten by dengue mosquito. However, Turab, 50, breathed his last at the hospital.
Likewise, another dengue patient, Naushad, 10, resident of Sufaid Dheri, had been admitted to the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) on Friday, after being infected by dengue virus. He, too, died at the hospital.
The first dengue case had surfaced in Peshawar on July 20 at Tehkal, where from the fatal virus also spread to other parts of the city and the province. Presently, most of the dengue cases are being reported from Pishtakhara, Palosai, Tehkal Bala and Tehkal Payan, Sufaid Dheri and other areas.
People of the mentioned areas are terrified by outbreak of the virus and have demanded of the KP government to take concrete steps to get control over the epidemic and also improve facilities at the hospitals, particularly for dengue patients.
In its fresh report, Dengue Response Unit, Peshawar said that till Saturday evening, a total of 1,429 people were tested for dengue virus at all three major hospitals in the city. Of them, 255 were tested positive for the virus. However, only 122 were admitted to hospitals for treatment, while 83 were discharged after giving them initial treatment, it said.
Meanwhile, Khalil Qaumi Jirga, comprising members of political parties, people of dengue-affected areas and elders of Khalil tribe vowed to protest on Monday against the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government for its failure in controlling the dengue epidemic in the city.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the jirga held on Saturday at the residence of former MPA Atif-ur-Rahman Khalil. Former KP minister Maulana Amanullah Haqqani of JUI-F, PML-N leader Arbab Khizer Hayat, former minister Kashif Azam of JI, Arbab Tahir of ANP, Arbab Zark Khan of PPP and Pir Fida Advocate of PTI attended the meeting.
The jirga had given a five-day ultimatum to the KP government for taking practical steps to control the dengue epidemic. The ultimatum expires on Sunday (today).
Briefing newsmen about the meeting, Arbab Khizer Hayat said that the death toll due to the dengue virus was increasing day by day and no practical steps were being taken by the KP government to eradicate the fatal mosquitoes. He said that the government had also not compensated the affected people.
“KP government is not showing seriousness in controlling the deadly virus which is affecting people of Peshawar and rest of the province”, Arbab alleged. He said that the dengue affected area, Tehkal, had not so far been declared as calamity-hit area.
The jirga, Arbab continued, had given a deadline of five days to the government for showing seriousness and taking practical measures but it neither contacted the jirga elders nor acted on their demands.
Arbab further said that the jirga members believed that the KP government was not showing any concern over ailments and deaths of the dwellers of Tehkal area where, he said, thousands of people had been affected by the mosquito-borne disease.
Members of the jirga have decided to hold protest sit-in on University Road on Monday, Arbab said. He also clarified that the protest sit-in will be peaceful aimed at raising voice for acceptance of their demands.
“In case the participants of the protest sit-in were baton charged or arrested, then Khalil tribe will launch further protests against the KP government outside the Chief Minister House and Assembly building,” Arbab said.