Two BJP MLAs take govt. to task for ‘ignoring’ monkey fever

Health Minister B. Sriramulu speaking in the Assembly in Bengaluru on Monday.  

The State government faced embarrassment in the Legislative Assembly on Monday with two MLAs from the Bharatiya Janata Party taking it to task over the spread of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) that has reportedly claimed four lives this year in Malnad areas.

One of the MLAs even said that the measures to tackle KFD, also known as monkey fever, were more effective during the previous government compared to the situation now.

While the issue was raised during the Zero Hour by BJP member and former Minister H. Halappa, he was supported by his party member Araga Jnanedra.

Both the MLAs alleged that the government, which was focussing on tackling COVID-19, had not shown similar seriousness in handling KFD though it had claimed the lives of nearly 25 in the last one year. “Is it right on your part to completely ignore KFD, which is affecting villagers near forest areas?” asked Mr. Halappa.

Accusing the Health Department officials of lacking seriousness and commitment in dealing with the disease, he wondered how they could ignore KFD deaths being reported in Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s home district of Shivamogga.

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri pointed out that his constituency too had witnessed a KFD death. Mr. Halappa expressed concern that preventive measures were not heightened in the affected districts of Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada and Chikkamagaluru despite the State witnessing four deaths this year.

“The situation was better under the previous government as three ambulances equipped with ventilators used to be parked in the affected villages and there was a provision to take the affected persons to private hospitals for treatment,” said Mr. Halappa, adding that now they are only taken to the government hospital in Shivamogga, where he said there are no adequate facilities.

Mr. Halappa lost his cool when Health Minister B. Sriramulu claimed that 15 persons had died due to KFD in the previous year. Countering him, the MLAs said the actual death toll was 23.

The Health Minister assured them of setting up a laboratory to deal with KFD and promised to arrange a meeting between MLAs of the affected areas and Mr. Yediyurappa.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:22:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/two-bjp-mlas-take-govt-to-task-for-ignoring-monkey-fever/article31085450.ece

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