Special Correspondent

Opposition accuses Government of failing to check spread of fever

Health Minister says Government doing its best
Opposition seeks resignation of Sreemathy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Assembly proceedings were adjourned on Monday, as Opposition members raised slogans in protest against denying leave for an adjournment motion against the alleged failure of the Government to tackle the spread of viral fever.

Opposition members led by K.C. Joseph, who sought permission for the motion, said that 10 lakh persons were affected by the fever and the number of cases was on the rise. Considering the gravity of the issue, the Opposition demanded a discussion. Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy said the Government had taken preventive measures since February and had held meetings in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kollam and Ernakulam districts.

Fever cases were first detected at Chittar panchayat in Pathanamthitta. The entomology team conducted a study and an inter-sectoral meeting was held. A meeting of people’s representatives was held on May 12. A monitoring committee headed by the District Collector and committees were formed in each Public Health Centre (PHC) under the leadership of panchayat presidents. A review meeting was held on May 21 and control room opened in Pathanamthitta. The Government granted an untied fund of Rs.25,000 and maintenance grant of Rs.50,000 each to all PHCs. A sum of Rs.5,000 each was sanctioned to the ward health and sanitation committees. Control rooms were opened at Kanjirapally and Kottayam. Doctors, nurses, 1,400 health inspectors and paramedical staff were deployed from various districts and preventive measures were taken. A State-level control room is functioning in the capital, the Minister said.

Ms. Sreemathy said that she had visited the districts five times. The Health Department had organised 1,000 medical camps all over the State.

Following the Minister’s clarification, Speaker K. Radhakrishnan denied permission for the motion. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy sought the intervention of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan. He said that the Opposition was ready too cooperate with the Government to complete the day’s business. Mr. Achuthanandan said that the Opposition was trying to create scare and anxiety and the issue did not warrant a discussion. When Mr. Radhakrishnan denied permission, the Opposition members moved to the Well of the House raising slogans.

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