Four of the five drinking water samples sent for testing from the area affected by the outbreak of water-borne diseases (Balongi village) in Mohali have failed the requisite tests, even as four more people, including three children, have taken ill from the area in the past three days. One of the patients is suffering from enteric fever, which is similar to typhoid.
With the district administration seeming to be apathetic towards the situation in the village, more than 100 people have fallen ill since the start of the outbreak one and a half months ago, with most of the water samples failing the test. In the last report, all eight water samples sent to the State Bacteriological Lab in Chandigarh had failed the requisite tests.
Moreover, a survey report prepared by the district health authorities in February had stated that 50 cases of typhoid (widal positive) and 24 cases of hepatitis (A and E) had been confirmed till February 22.
Dr Avtar Singh, who received the water sample reports, said, “I have been instructed by my seniors not to share any details regarding sample reports ever since a news report was published the last time we sent samples for testing.”
Civil surgeon Rajeev Bhalla could not be reached for comment.
District health officer Dr H S Oberoi, when contacted, said, “One water sample which passed the test was collected from a tube well while the rest were collected from the houses of the residents. This means that the water being drawn from the tube wells in the village is fit for drinking. It is probably due to leakages in the water supply pipelines that the water gets contaminated. We’ll be sending a report of the samples to the water supply and sanitation department as well as to the Deputy Commissioner’s office.”
The four more suspected patients are Manjit Kaur, 50, Amarinder, 7, Reema, 2, and Sameera, 7. They are suffering from enteric fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
ADC (Development) Puneet Goyal, when contacted, said, “Providing safe and clean drinking water is our responsibility. I’ll take it up with the officials concerned and ensure that the water supply is made free of contamination as soon as possible.”