At least 50,000 people were affected from dengue on Saturday across Pakistan as health officials struggled to cope with the deadly epidemic on a mass scale which has also claimed 250 lives so far this year.

According to reports, at least 250 people have already died of dengue in different parts of the country over the past few weeks. The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are the worst-hit areas.

Over 25,000 people in the twin cities have tested positive for the dengue virus recently. In the two big hospitals of Islamabad alone, some 8,000 dengue cases have been identified, a health official said.

Reports suggest that at least 750 dengue patients are currently undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the twin cities, where the health staff taking care of the numbers only 35.

At least 150 law enforcement officials have also fallen victim to the dengue virus. Authorities are not revealing the correct figures out of fear of a backlash by the general public.

Last week, two people died of dengue in Karachi, taking the death toll of people dying from the deadly disease to 14 in the metropolis. Meanwhile, thousands of more people reportedly tested positive for dengue in Punjab.

Around half of the planet’s population live in at-risk areas, mainly in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Outbreaks have ravaged Southeast Asia this year, infecting hundreds of thousands and that killed hundreds.

(With agency inputs)