Lahore/Islamabad: The dengue outbreak in Pakistan has claimed 21 more lives in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, taking the death toll to over 40, officials said on Saturday.
Sixteen deaths were reported from Lahore, the capital of Punjab, and other parts of the province over the past two days.
Among those who died in hospitals in the province on Friday and on Saturday were a lieutenant colonel of the army and a child.
Five deaths due to dengue have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
One death was also reported earlier from southern Sindh province.
In Punjab, some 600 people have been added to the list of dengue victims every day for the past three weeks, belying the government's claim that there were only 4,000 patients across the country.
According to Lahore's Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Javed Akram, the number of dengue patients in the city alone is more than 10,000.
He said: "Dengue has become epidemic and the coming three weeks are crucial as there are chances that the virus may inflict thousands more".
The Punjab government has announced that it is procuring 150 fumigation machines from Germany and medicines and kits from India.
"A 12-member team of Sri Lankan doctors and paramedical staff is already here to help authorities combat the deadly virus," a health department official said.
According to a report from the Health Department of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 109 suspected cases of dengue had been reported in the province and 44 cases had been confirmed so far.