The measures undertaken by the municipal council and Kolhapur district health authorities have helped in containing the spread of jaundice in Ichalkaranji,with the number the new infections coming down to 10-15 from around 150 a day.
The textile town,having a population of three lakh,had reported over 5,000 Hepatitis-E cases from May 15,of whom 12 persons succumbed to the disease. Five of the dead were pregnant women.
While the Epidemic Diseases Act was enforced following the outbreak,Kolhapur district civil surgeon Dr L Patil said certain conditions have now been relaxed. Schools have reopened and hotels have been given permission to run their permit rooms,but country liquor shops are still shut.
A review committee had attributed the infection to the polluted Panchganga river,from which water was used in the town after filtration from January to March owing to water shortage in the Krishna river. Besides blaming the release of sewage and effluents from Kolhapur industries into the Panchganga river for the pollution,it had also identified as many as 90 leakages in the drinking water pipeline in Ichalkaranji as a source of infection.
The municipal corporation had stopped lifting water from the Panchganga river once the infection spread across the 25 wards of Ichalkaranji by May 15. The civic body had also initiated sanitation measures besides an awareness campaign with banners,leaflets and hoardings.