Staff Reporter

Government claims steps have been taken to control the disease

2,86,201 people in 26 districts have been affected Government rejects Opposition charge of slackness Chikungunya cases are now being reported in South Karnataka as well

Bangalore: Though the State Government claims to have taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of chikungunya, reports of its outbreak continue to pour in from different places.

As many as 2,86,201 people in 26 districts were affected by the disease as on June 26. The Health Department claims that the number of cases had come down.

The Opposition has faulted the coalition Government for its failure to deal with the situation. Members in the Legislative Assembly had expressed concern over the spread of the disease, forcing Health and Family Welfare Minister R. Ashok to make a statement.

However, the Minister rejected the Opposition charge. The Government had spent Rs. 4.25 crore for supply of medicines in the districts where the disease had broken out.

As many as 578 fogging machines had been used to "control" mosquitoes. The department also decided to buy 888 more fogging machines.

According to statistics, chikungunya has been reported in 2,860 villages affecting 2.86 lakh people. Gulbarga, Bidar, Bellary and Gadag districts have been the worst hit. Four official committees have been formed to monitor the situation.

Cases are now being reported in the districts of south Karnataka also.

The southern districts where chikungunya cases have been reported are Bangalore Rural (9,190), Bangalore Urban (2,863), Tumkur (34,312), Kolar (14,277), Chikmagalur (3,827) and Shimoga (13,853) as on June 26. But, the number of people afflicted by the disease in Bangalore Urban has risen to 6,950, according to Deputy Commissioner M.A. Sadiq.

However, not one case has been reported in Kodagu district. The Opposition urged that there was a need to tackle chikungunya on a war-footing as was done in the case of malaria.

The Government should allocate more funds and appoint doctors and paramedical personnel to treat the patients.

If steps were not taken, the disease would seriously affect the people in rural areas and render them jobless for at least a month, it said.

The Government held a meeting of chief executive officers of zilla panchayats and deputy commissioners of districts on Friday to monitor the situation and take steps to tackle the disease. Committees have been formed at district and taluk levels.

Victims of the disease suffer from sudden onset of chillness, headache, fever, joint and muscle pain.

Most patients recover in four to six days, but a few suffer joint pain for months.

In some cases, the limbs of the affected persons become so weak that it becomes difficult for them to walk.

It has been noted that people in Bangalore Rural and Kolar districts are not following the preventive measures advised by the department.