The notices for dereliction of duty were issued after Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain and some senior officials made surprise visits to government hospitals at odd hours following the worst outbreak of the vector-borne disease in six years.

"The Health Minister, Satyendar Jain, visited the hospitals between 11.45 PM and 6 AM to check their preparedness in terms of dealing with the dengue patients and found some doctors sleeping while being on duty, while some were found loitering in other wards when they should have been at a particular ward," a Health Department official said.

"Fourteen doctors from seven hospitals have been issued show cause notices in this context," he cited, adding some staff nurses also have been issued such notices. The department is now awaiting response to the notices before it considers whether to take action against them. The hospitals whose doctors have been served notices include Aruna Asaf Ali, Deep Chand Bandhu, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Acharya Shree Bhikshu, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial and Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

Meanwhile, to accommodate the rising number of dengue patients in the national capital, the Health Department has procured 400 new beds which are likely to be placed in Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and Ambedkar Hospital, which have been dealing with a huge rush of patients.

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