Collector orders magisterial probe into jaundice outbreak in Vengoor

Published - May 16, 2024 08:26 pm IST - KOCHI

District Collector N.S.K. Umesh on Thursday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the jaundice outbreak in Vengoor panchayat.

He authorised Shyju P. Jacob, Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Muvattupuzha, to hold an inquiry under Section 176(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and submit a report within two weeks. As the case is more related to the Public Health Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, expert opinion and assistance of officials of the Health department may be sought for a thorough inquiry, according to the order.

It pointed out that 161 cases had been reported from 15 wards of the panchayat. Of them, 10 are confirmed Hepatitis A cases; 151 are suspected cases; and 33 persons are under treatment in various hospitals. The RDO will probe the cause of the death and the factors that contributed to the outbreak of Hepatitis A.

The order said that jaundice outbreak was reported in wards 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of the panchayat on April 17. Fifty-five-year-old Jolly Raju had succumbed to Hepatitis A in hospital on May 7. The Tahsildar of Kunnathunad reported that Anjana of Ambadan House, Vengoor, was in critical condition at a private hospital in Kochi.

An inspection by the Health department found that the spread of the disease had occurred due to a drinking water project under the Kerala Water Authority. Mr. Umesh, who visited the site on May 9, concluded that only a thorough inquiry would bring out the cause of death and other factors that led to the outbreak of the disease.

The probe would ascertain whether there was any negligence or omission on the part of those concerned and prescribe remedies and precautions to avoid such incidents in the future. The report would also recommend relief to be provided to the family of the deceased.

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