Puducherry

Health emergency declared in Karaikal as a precaution: Minister

Minister for Public Works Department K. Lakshminarayanan,  Minister for Transport Chandira Priyanga and legislators being briefed  by Collector L. Mohamed Mansoor on the cholera outbreak in Karaikal on Sunday evening.

Minister for Public Works Department K. Lakshminarayanan, Minister for Transport Chandira Priyanga and legislators being briefed by Collector L. Mohamed Mansoor on the cholera outbreak in Karaikal on Sunday evening. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Puducherry government was prompted to declare a health emergency in Karaikal due to outbreak of Acute Diarrhoel Diseases (ADD) for creating awareness among people to take precautions and not because the situation has gone out of control, Minister for Public Works K. Lakshminarayanan has said.

“A lot of cases were reported during end of last month. The health emergency was declared to create awareness among the people so that symptomatic persons got early treatment. Many people were coming to hospitals after being symptomatic for days. The cases have also started coming down and there is nothing to panic, “ he told The Hindu. He had chaired a high-level meeting in Karaikal on Sunday evening. 

The Minister denied reports of any death directly related to cholera in Karaikal.

Mr. Lakshminarayanan was deputed by the Chief Minister to Karaikal to review the administration’s preparedness to deal with the outbreak. Minister for Transport Chandira Priyanga, DMK legislator A. M. H Nazeem, Karaikal Collector L. Mohamed Mansoor, officials from PWD, Health and LAD attended the meeting. 

The outbreak, he said was due to contamination of water as a result of sewage leaking into piped water supply and absence of proper chlorination. Several places have been identified where sewage got mixed with the drinking water sources. Also, people themselves have tapped water from unhygienic sources. Steps were being taken to rectify defects in sewer lines, he said. 

Chlorine level up to 2 milligrams per litre is considered safe. It can go up to 4 mg/l. But the chlorine level at certain points was found to be below 1 mg/l, which was not adequate to disinfect pathogens. All the tanks have been cleaned and proper chlorination also done, he said.

“We have posted doctors from the Public Health division of government medical college and a former staff of PWD experienced in chlorination process in Karaikal,” he said. 

Director of Health and Family Welfare Services G. Sriramulu said traces of vibrio bacteria were found in 20 of the 80 stool samples tested in the region. Around 40 to 50 cases were reported in the last weeks of June. From 8 a.m. on July 3 to 8 a. m. on July 4, there were 13 cases and 11 of them were treated as out patients. 

“Our teams will continue to stay for a few more days. The situation is now fully under control and we have given our suggestions to the government to avoid any further recurrence of cholera outbreak, “ he said. Health workers are making door-to-door visits to educate people on the precautions to be taken, including boiling of water for 20 minutes, to avoid getting infected, he said.


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 11:05:27 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/health-emergency-declared-in-karaikal-as-a-precaution-minister/article65599402.ece