As many as 2,900 cases of dengue have been reported in the country, with the maximum 673 from the national capital alone, and 38 people have died due to the disease, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Thursday.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of the health ministers of the dengue-affected states, Ramadoss said in all there have been 38 deaths, 15 of which have occurred in Delhi. There have been 7 dengue deaths in Rajasthan, 4 in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, and 3 each in Gujarat and West Bengal.
"The situation is under control and there is no need for alarm or panic. It is not an epidemic," he said.
The minister said there have been 673 cases of dengue reported in Delhi. While 409 of the people afflicted by the disease are Delhiites, 264 are from outside Delhi, he said, adding that there were 11 confirmed and four suspected dengue deaths in the capital.
However, the Delhi government has said there have been 16 deaths due to dengue in the capital, five of which are yet to be verified.
Meanwhile, the Central government has also said that there was no panic situation or threat of an epidemic following the spate of dengue cases in Delhi and other parts of the country but admitted that the mosquito-borne disease had not yet been fully contained.
"I would not say it has been fully contained. I would say that the government is trying to reduce it in a manner so that it does not spread," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after a meeting of the Union Cabinet where the issue figured.
Dasmunsi said that most of the states had acted on steps suggested by the Health Ministry six months back to contain dengue. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi had also taken measures, including fogging operations. He said the figure could have been otherwise much higher.