With one more person dying in North Dinajpore of suspected encephalitis on Monday, the state’s death toll due to the disease reached 120.
North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb held meetings with district administration and subdivision administration members. “We had discussed several ways of spreading awareness as far as the disease was concerned. We have also decided to implement more machines, increase fogging and spray to ensure that there are no more cases,” Deb said.
He also admitted that local bodies were not properly implementing preventive measures. “The CM’s instruction was clear right from the beginning, but there have been lapses in implementing them at the lowest level,” he added.
Meanwhile, the disease has spread panic in areas like Shikarpur, Raigunj and Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri.
Authorities had said that if one person was detected with encephalitis in the areas, samples from at least 200 persons from the vicinity of his residence would be collected. However, nothing was done.
Primary health centres witnessed long queues of patients on Monday and two of them were referred from Dhupguri to Jalpaiguri subdivision hospital. The district magistrate of Jalpaiguri met health officials and the BDO on Monday, but did not want to divulge details of the meetings.
The state also has plans to constitute a surveillance team so that outbreaks like these are detected and nipped in the bud.
Dr Subrata Moitra had been requested by chief secretary Sanjay Mitra to be part of such a plan. “There has been only a telephonic conversation with the chief secretary about this. I would say that not only encephalitis but a survey needs to be made about all communicable diseases and quarterly reports should be prepared. If this is done , you can pick up a particular instance easily and stop it from spreading. Again, spread of vector-borne diseases could be checked faster,” he said, adding that KMC had previously done such a survey, successfully bringing down the number of cases of dengue and malaria.