As many would see it as an irony of fate, Habiganj civil surgeon Shahadat Hossain Hazra died reportedly of dengue in the capital on Sunday night.
Sylhet division Health Services director Devpada Roy confirmed Shahadat’s death to New Age.
He said that Shahadat, who was in his early fifties, had joined his Habiganj work station on Saturday.
He was in Dhaka before he went to Habiganj and his wife, who is living in Dhaka, is also suffering from dengue.
‘He [Shahadat] told me on Saturday that he caught fever with severe pain in the body on Saturday afternoon,’Devpada said.
Suspecting that the new civil surgeon was infected with dengue doctors at the Habiganj Sadar Hospital advised him to get admitted at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Devpada said further.
He then returned to Dhaka on Sunday night and was taken to the Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital about 10:00pm, when doctors there declared him dead.
‘We suspect that dengue has caused his death, but he was not diagnosed. Being a doctor, Shahadat took self-medication,’ he said.
Devpada also disclosed that at least five dengue patients were found in his division in last seven days.
Among them, four were admitted to the Osmani Medical College Hospital and one to the Moulvibazar Sadar Hospital.
Two of the five patients had travelled to Dhaka, he said.
The Habiganj district health chief’s death came at a time when people in large numbers are getting infected with dengue, a mosquito-borne viral fever, mainly in the capital.
The dengue panic has gripped the residents of Dhaka city due to the rising trend of the viral infection and as no effective measures are visible yet to contain the situation.
At least 5,050 people were hospitalised with dengue in the past 22 days of July alone, 1,814 in June and 7,179 in total this year, according to health emergency operation centre and control room of the Directorate General of Health Services.
‘This year the number of dengue cases may cross all the previous records as we are only halfway through the monsoon,’ said Health Services’ aedes and malaria control programme deputy manager MM Akteruzzaman.
So far five people died of dengue this year, according to the control room.
But unofficial reports say the disease claimed at least 26 people this year while the number of dengue patients would be much higher as the control room cannot collect the records of all patients taking treatment from private doctors.
On Monday, at least 1,665 dengue patients were under treatment at different hospitals in Dhaka.
Monday alone saw at least 403 new dengue patients getting admitted at different hospitals in the capital, which was highest in a single day in this year.
The number of new dengue patients hospitalised on Sunday was 319 and was 326 on July 15, the second highest in a day this year.
Different hospitals, meanwhile, opened separate dengue wards as more patients were coming with the viral fever.
Usually, the number of dengue cases increases during monsoon — between June and September.
Last year witnessed a record number of dengue patients starting since 2000. At least 26 people died and 10,148 others were hospitalised due to dengue in 2018.
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