Public health emergency declared in Karaikal following ADD outbreak

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File Photo | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

The Health Department of the Union Territory of Puducherry has declared a ‘public health emergency’ in Karaikal following the outbreak of Acute Diarrhoeal Diseases (ADDs) and deterioration of water quality in the region.

Director of Health G. Sriramulu said in an official press release that ADD cases were being reported in large numbers from the region and most of the water samples were found unsatisfactory.

Some patients tested positive for cholera. More cases were being reported at hospitals daily. Hence, the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services declared the outbreak of acute diarrhoea a ‘public health emergency’ in the district of Karaikal, the release said.

All remedial and management measures are being taken in coordination with health teams from Puducherry and line departments such as Municipality and PWD. Instructions and Standard Operating Procedures have been given to the coordinating teams.

Members of the public have been advised to follow basic hygiene practices, such as consuming only boiled water (boiled for 20 minutes) and properly washed and cooked food, and to adopt personal hygiene measures, including hand-washing, if any close contact develops symptoms.

They are also advised to use public toilets and avoid open air defecation and report to nearby government hospitals immediately if anyone develops loose stools or vomiting. The importance of oral rehydration solution and learning to prepare it at home was also stressed to offset the severity of the infection. The appropriate authority needs to be alerted if any leak was found in water drainage system.

Measures have been taken to ensure safe drinking water supply at public places and hotels, the press note said.

AIADMK Puducherry East secretary A. Anbalagan has criticised the government for what he called negligence that led to the reappearance of a diarrhoeal disease, like cholera, that was considered eradicated from the country almost 25 years ago.

At a press conference, he said that when more than 30 people were infected with cholera a couple of months ago, the administration failed to pay attention. As a result, more than 7,000 people had contracted the disease in Karaikal alone. More than 1,000 people were being treated as inpatients and cases surged every day. High levels of faecal contamination of water had also been found in the region. “This will only break the public trust in the government,” he said.

He urged the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister to take steps to improve drinking water supply and sewerage in Karaikal and initiate action against officials if their negligence was found to have caused the outbreak.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 1:37:33 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/public-health-emergency-declared-in-karaikal-following-add-outbreak/article65595549.ece