Updated: July 24, 2021 10:00:44 am
Medical teams have been sent to flood-affected districts in Maharashtra and a high alert has been sounded, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said in Pune on Friday. He has also urged districts to ensure that there is not let-up in the Covid vaccination drive.
Heavy to heavy rain has lashed Ratnagiri, Raigad, Satara, Kolhapur, Sangli and Pune for the last couple of days. Till late on Friday, state health officials said there were at least 259 flood-hit villages in these areas. Over 150 medical teams have been deployed, which have been able to visit more than 3 lakh homes, state health officials told The Indian Express.
“The teams have been instructed to keep a strict watch on any outbreak of water-borne diseases in the affected areas in Raigad, Ratnagiri and Kolhapur,” Tope had earlier told mediapersons after inaugurating the new building of the National Cold Chain Resource Centre on Friday.
“I recently visited Kolhapur and instructed medical units to be on high alert, conduct an assessment of the flood-hit areas and take public health measures accordingly, so that an outbreak of water-borne diseases can be prevented,” said Tope.
Ensuring people get safe drinking water was top priority, said Director of Health Dr Archana Patil. “Systems can get affected at some places, leading to contamination of drinking water,” she said.
Dr Patil said a detailed letter of instructions has been sent to districts on stepping up surveillance measures. Initial efforts will be taken to minimise the risk of diseases such as diarrhoea, leptospirosis and others before stepping up vector-control measures, said health officials.
Tope, who attended a few events in the city on Friday, also reiterated the need to step up Covid vaccination drive. “We have urged the Centre to supply 10 lakh vaccine doses daily and I am pursuing the matter with the Union health minister,” he said.
On relaxation in lockdown-like restrictions, Tope said the state is preparing a report as there are some districts which have negligible number of cases. “… A decision will be taken as some districts have a Covid positivity rate which is lower than 1.2 per cent,” Tope said.
Responding to a query on reopening of schools, Tope said the Indian Council of Medical Research has issued several advisories and protocols which have been followed by Maharashtra. “We will wait for ICMR guidelines before a decision is taken,” he said.
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