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NEW DELHI : While covid-19 cases are dipping in India, the country is grappling with various other seasonal diseases such as dengue, influenza and viral fevers mounting pressure on the healthcare infrastructure.

Hospitals across the country are witnessing an increased burden of diseases leaving In Patient Departments (IPDs) full and OPDS stretching.  

 “We are seeing increased number of various viral respiratory illnesses, dengue, malaria and scrub typhus. As a result there has been a significant surge in OPD visits in internal medicine and Pediatrics departments. There is also a significant surge in admissions for these illnesses. The number of these infections is more than what we saw in last 2 years. This is a seasonal surge and a bit late this year due to longer monsoon season in north India," said Dr Sandeep Budhiraja,  group medical director,  max healthcare.

India has so far recorded over 14044 dengue cases according to the latest data available with National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

The national capital Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are dealing with increase in dengue cases, Mumbai and Hyderabad have influenza outbreaks.

 “We are receiving about 40-45 cases of dengue and seasonal viral fever daily in our OPD since a month.Those who need admission are getting admitted and there is no shortage of beds," Dr Vijay Dutta senior internal medicine Indian spinal injuries center said.

Meanwhile, at least 15,823 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The active caseload is presently 2,07,653, which is the lowest in 214 days, the union health ministry said. But hospitals are witnessing rise in other diseases.

 “We are seeing a 20% upsurge of cases of viral illnesses in the past month. Cases of asthma exacerbations and allergies have also gone up in the recent days. This can be attributed to the extended monsoon season this year and the seasonal change taking place currently, said Dr Richa Sareen, senior consultant Pulmonology, Fortis hospital vasant Kunj. “While we have witnessed an increase in the cases, but the situation is manageable, and patients are recovering," she said.

Even though the covid-19 positivity is decreasing, the hospitals are also getting swelling number of co-infections of other respiratory illnesses. Active cases presently constitute 0.61% of the country's total covid-19 Positive Cases, according to union health ministry. With a cumulative 58.63 crores covid-19 tests, Weekly Positivity Rate at 1.46% remains less than 3% for the last 110 days now. The Daily Positivity rate reported to be1.19%. The daily Positivity rate has remained below3% for last 44 days and below 5% for 127 consecutive days now.

 “There has been a rapid surge in the cases of dengue in the last few weeks with the onset of the monsoons and the apt climatic conditions for the propagation of the vector for dengue. Even a few patients harbour two of the viral infections like dengue and influenza. We have also come across cases of co-infections of dengue and leptospirosis," said Dr Monalisa Sahu, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Dr Sonam Solanki, Consultant Pulmonologist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai recommended to vaccinate children and adult population right before the rainy season starts in India.

 “It is after the covid 19 pandemic that there is so much awareness at the community level that people are actually quite aware of the type of diseases, the numbers & the pattern. Otherwise, this is not something extraordinary that healthcare workers are dealing with. We do expect these cases to go up during rainy seasons and are equipped to handle that," said Solanki.

Meanwhile, India’s cumulative covid-19 vaccination neared 97 crores. More than 97.79 crores vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far through government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category.

More than 8.43 crores balance and unutilized covid-19 Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered, the government said in a separate statement.

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