LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed that all concerned departments and institutions should remain alert for coping with dengue virus.

He issued these directions while addressing a meeting in Civil Secretariat and various districts through video link, here on Thursday.

He said that precautionary measures should be adopted for eradication of dengue throughout Punjab including Lahore. He said that effective implementation should be made on the plan evolved last year with regard to eradication of dengue. He said that concerned federal and provincial departments should take steps through joint efforts.

Shahbaz Sharif has warned of strict action against the officers who would show negligence about eradicating the dengue eruption. He directed that cabinet committee for anti-dengue should work in a coordinated manner and effective steps should be taken for eradication of dengue by benefiting from modern technology.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafique lead an anti- dengue awareness walk organised by the Health Department to observe Anti-Dengue Day in Punjab, on Thursday.

Director General Nursing Punjab, Rukhsana Kamaal, Addl. Director General dengue control Dr. Islam Zafar, Director Public Health Dr Farrukh Sultan, officials of the department, paramedics and nursing students have participated in the walk which concluded from Directorate General Health Services office to Punjab Assembly Chowk.

Talking to the media at the occasion, Kh Salman Rafique said that dengue is a health as well as social problem therefore, enthusiastic participation of community in the preventive and control activities is essential. He said that the main objective of observing Anti Dengue Day in Punjab is to remind the people to pay attention to this problem so that people could take measures to eliminate dengue breeding sites by removing stagnant water from their premises especially from the roof tops of the houses.

He urged the people to dispose of the discarded articles, plastic bottles, old tyres to check the breeding of dengue mosquitos. Though the number of confirmed dengue patients in Punjab is only 10 out of which four patients locally infected while six are out of Punjab but dengue larvae is being reported by the surveillance teams in a large scale and due to heavy rains the chances of dengue breeding have been increased, he added.

He said that Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan are sensitive districts with regard to dengue.

Kh Salman Rafique said that government departments conducting out- door and indoor dengue surveillance vigorously in all the sensitive areas but keeping the houses clean is the prime responsibility of residents. He further said that all arrangements for medical treatment of dengue patients have done in the government hospitals but so far no dengue patient is under treatment in any hospital.

He said that due to rains government departments and community should be vigilant to check the dengue breeding in and out of their premises.

Meanwhile, Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) marked Anti- Dengue Day along with Turkish contractor companies i.e. albyrak & ozpak in order to highlight precautionary measures needed to be taken to combat dengue.

A walk led by LWMC head of communication department Jameel Khawar was held at liberty roundabout and was attended by senior CDGL officials, Turkish representatives of Albayrak & Ozpak, officials of LWMC and students from Punjab University, Lahore College Women University and other educational institutions.

Participants were holding placards carrying informational and inspirational messages about anti dengue measures. They also raised slogans like “Dengue Ko Maat…Safai Ky Sath”. LWMC also setup camps for on spot registration and resolution of waste related complaints and distribution of awareness pamphlets.