Kerala sees 62 fever deaths in four months

An unusual outbreak of fever in the pre-monsoon period, possibly triggered by climate change, has claimed 62 lives in Kerala over the last four months, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja informed the Assembly on Thursday.

As many as 24 of the fever victims had succumbed to H1N1 influenza, the Minister said while replying to an adjournment motion moved by V.S. Sivakumar and others. Noting that different types of fever, including dengue, chicken pox and H1N1, had been reported from several locations across the State, she said the Health Department had managed to bring the situation under control through effective intervention.

The Opposition staged a walkout from the House alleging that the government had failed to manage the crisis. UDF members said the negligence of the Health administration was responsible for the high number of casualties.

Refuting the charges, Ms. Shylaja said sanitation and vector control measures had been stepped up, medical camps organised in the affected areas and hospitals and pharmacies stocked with medicines. Government hospitals, she said, were better equipped to handle fever cases.

Dengue hotspots

Thiruvananthapuram district and pockets in Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur and Kozhikode had been identified as dengue hotspots. Attributing the fever outbreak to climate change factors, she said the drought conditions and rise in temperature had aggravated the situation.

The Minister said the H1N1 outbreak had been reported from other south Indian States also.

She told the House that the government had released ₹73 lakh in March for preventive action to check the spread of fever.

Moving the motion, Mr. Sivakumar, former Health Minister, said the failure to take timely action was responsible for the spurt in the number of fever victims during the pre-monsoon period. “Ward-level sanitation activities have been affected by the shortage of health workers and funds and the fever reporting and monitoring system has been a failure. Over 7,00,000 people have sought treatment for fever at government hospitals across the State. The situation could aggravate once the monsoon sets in,” he said.

Terming the situation as serious, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said lack of coordination among departments and the failure to carry out the pre-monsoon sanitation drive had triggered the crisis. Garbage accumulation, he said, had converted large parts of the State into vector-breeding grounds.

The Opposition legislators trooped out of the House after Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan refused permission to take up the issue for discussion.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 9:15:22 AM |

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