Over 15,000 Hepatitis-E cases from Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Jaundice should be declared epidemic: Opposition
Chief Minister refused to call it an epidemic and compared it with common cold in winters and saith that a small illness is being publicised as an epidemic and his government is not at all responsible for the outcome.
SHIMLA- More than 15,000 cases of Hepatitis-E have been reported from the three districts of Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur after the jaundice outbreak. The opposition parties have demanded that jaundice should be declared as an epidemic in the State and the affected people should be given free medical aid.
They have decided to raise the issue vociferously in the coming Vidhan Sabha session after the insensitivity of the incumbent government towards the gravity of the disease. IPH Minister Vidya Stokes has refused to call it an epidemic and denied any special assistance to the jaundice patients.
State Chief Minister has also refused to call it an epidemic and had compared it with common cold in winters recently in a media interaction. He said the jaundice outburst is being blown out of proportions by the media and opposition parties.
A small illness is being publicised as an epidemic and his government is not at all responsible for the outcome, he said. Mr. Singh blamed the residents and local administrations for the leakages in their sewage tanks that had resulted in the contamination of the drinking water.
On the other hand the opposition has been blaming the government from the beginning for not taking adequate steps to check the epidemic and for not taking strict actions against the culprits who were responsible for mixing the untreated sewage water with the drinking water.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda sanctioned Rs. 70 lakh to study the causes of jaundice
Expressing concern over jaundice outbreak in the capital town, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Sunday urged the State government to take necessary steps to check the spread of the disease in the hill State. The minister sanctioned Rs. 70 lakh for a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to prevent the recurrence of the disease.
We are monitoring the situation closely and have already offered all assistance to the State government. I urge the State government to take all necessary steps by improving sanitation and checking supply of contaminated water,
Mr. Nadda said in a statement.
The minister said a team of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control had assessed the situation on the ground level and advised that sanitation and cleanliness in affected areas should be improved while contamination of water had be checked.
Meanwhile, leading Shimla lawyer Jagdish Vats (58) succumbed to Hepatits-E virus on Saturday after reportedly drinking contaminated water from a polluted water sources in the town. Mr. Vats was admitted to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh in a serious condition. Another lawyer, Rakesh Chandel (41) who contracted the disease died on Friday.
Due to the increasing number of deaths, lawyers here have requested the High Court to take action against erring officials, while demanding compensation for the deceased.
According to sources, a 74-year-old man from Khalini suburb of the town succumbed to jaundice in the IGMC hospital, taking the total toll to four in the past several hours.
A 25-year-old pregnant woman and wife of an advocate died of jaundice in the capital town on Thursday, leaving behind a four-day-old daughter, the IGMC authorities confirmed.