Union Health Minister J P Nadda Tuesday stressed on the need for close coordination between the Centre and states to deal with the outbreak of dengue and chikungunya, which have affected about 40,000 people in the country, even as he said there was no need to panic.
He assured all help to states in fighting the spread of vector-borne diseases and said it should not be an issue for indulging in blame game. “We will try to fulfill all requirements. Whether it is dengue or chikungunya, we should not panic. “There is a need to give symptomatic treatment…We are ready to offer all help to state governments. This is not an issue for the Centre and states to indulge in blame game. We should work together,” Nadda said.
60 people have died across the country due to dengue. Three people have died in Delhi due to Chikungunya, which otherwise is non-fatal. However, a senior Health Ministry official said the chikungunya deaths are being probed by its agencies to ascertain the exact reasons.
As per the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), around 27,879 cases of dengue have been reported across the country and 60 people have succumbed to the disease till August 31. 5,000 cases each have been reported from West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala. While West Bengal has reported 5,129 dengue cases and 22 deaths, the disease has affected 5,183 people and claimed nine lives in Odisha.
AIIMS, Delhi, has reported five “suspected” dengue deaths this month. The national capital has recorded nine dengue deaths this year. The number of those diagnosed with the virus in the city has risen to over 1,150. Around 12,255 cases of chinkungunya have been reported across the country. Karnataka alone has recorded 8,941.
Two chikungunya deaths were Tuesday reported from the national capital, taking the number of fatalities due to the vector-borne disease in the city to three.
Health Ministry sources said the minister is closely monitoring the situation and has called a review meeting with top officials tomorrow. “The Health Ministry is probing the chikungunya deaths in the national capital. Similar cases were reported in 2006. We are investigating them at our level first,” a senior official said.
He said at this moment, there is an “outbreak” situation with regard to chikunguniya. If somebody, who is already undergoing treatment (for cancer or put on dialysis), contracts chikungunya and dies, we do not call it chikungunya death, he said.
Another official said the Health Ministry has issued 11 advisories to states and held 16 review meetings with them. Of this, five were held at the level of the Health Minister, who issued directions to step up preventive measures. “We have told the Delhi government and MCDs to intensify efforts to prevent (the spread of) the diseases. All central government hospitals in the national capital are fully equipped to deal with the situation,” the official said.
Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha had recently held a review meeting and asked various agencies to accelerate preventive actions like fogging, running public awareness programmes and putting in place an effective monitoring system. Nadda also recently directed municipal bodies to ensure there is no stagnation of water and cleanliness is maintained.