With parts of the Bihar capital still inundated following last weeks heavy rainfall, the threat of an outbreak of dengue and other vector-borne diseases looms large over the city.
As per the state health department, around 250 dengue cases have been registered in Patna since September 27, when the downpour began and continued for the next couple of days. The spurt in the incidence could be gauged from the fact that the number of dengue cases reported between January 1 and September 27 this year was just 409.
The department, however, asserted that intensive fogging was being undertaken in water-logged areas, with all medical college hospitals in the city notified as “sentinel sites” for dengue treatment. It also said that arrangements were being made to set up free medical camps to treat cases of dengue and chikungunya in the city’s worst-affected localities on October 10-12, immediately after the Dussehra festivities.
A release issued by the office of Union minister of state for health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said the Centre has chipped in with its resources to combat the crisis. Teams of doctors are treating people for diarrhea, lung infection and skin diseases which may have been caused by the water-logging, the release maintained.
District Magistrate Kumar Ravi said around 2.25 lakh residents have been affected by the water-logging. “Those affected were rescued with the help of boats and provided relief. We are now focusing on preventing the outbreak of vector-borne diseases. For this purpose, 75 teams have been constituted to spray bleaching powder and anti-larval material.”
“Doctors have been deployed at major Durga Puja pandals, expected to witness a heavy throng. The doctors would be carrying necessary equipment and drugs to deal with emergencies,” he added.
Ravi also said that rural areas of the Patna district have been affected by the spate in the Punpun river, a tributary of the Ganges. “Water in the river has begun to recede since Sunday and it may fall below the danger level in the next few days. However, 86,784 villagers have been affected by the flash floods. They are being provided relief from kitchens set up at the community centres.”
The NDRF along with the state water resources department is working to repair the breached embankments with sand-filled sacks, the district magistrate said. “Doctors and paramedics have been deployed at medical camps for the flood victims. Aanganwadi workers have been instructed to keep a watch on the health of women and children. Also, pashu rahat kendras (animal welfare centre) have been set up so that cattle could be moved there from flooded areas and looked after,” he added.