Tamil Nadu

96 dengue deaths reported in Tamil Nadu since 2015, govt. tells HC

The majority of the deaths occurred in 2017, which witnessed 23,294 cases.

The State government on Tuesday told the Madras High Court that 38,069 cases of dengue had been officially reported in the State since 2015, and there had been 96 deaths resulting from the disease. The majority of the deaths (63) occurred in 2017, when 23,294 cases of dengue were reported.

The submissions were made in a counter-affidavit filed before a Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee, who were seized of a public interest litigation petition preferred by advocate A.P. Suryaprakasam, 66, seeking a direction to the government to pay ₹10 lakh as compensation for each dengue death.

The counter-affidavit, filed by K.S. Selvakumar, Additional Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, listed the steps taken by the government this year to prevent and control the spread of all communicable diseases, including dengue, and stated that several factors, including the lack of community participation, were responsible for the “recent spread of dengue”.

Asserting that the number of dengue cases had been “brought under control” through continuous monitoring and effective supervision of vector control activities, he claimed that fever cases reported as inpatients in government and private hospitals across the State were being monitored regularly.

He further stated that the government was taking all necessary measures to detect dengue cases early and provide prompt treatment. It was also claimed that Tamil Nadu was the only State to test the presence of the virus in mosquitoes collected from different areas and initiate target-oriented mosquito control measures on a war-footing in all areas where the tests came back positive.

All district-level entomologists and regional entomologists of 9 zonal entomological teams located in Vellore, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Dindigul, Coimbatore, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Salem were monitoring the density of Aedes larvae in villages, town panchayats, municipalities and corporations, the Additional Secretary said.

Fogging operation

He stated that 28,147 Domestic Breeding Checkers (field workers), at the rate of 20 to 50 per Panchayat Union, 10 to 20 per Town Panchayat and one for every 250 houses in municipalities and corporations, had been deployed for Aedes mosquito control.

The court was informed that fogging was being carried out regularly to quickly kill and reduce the population of adult mosquitoes, and that priority was given to areas where fever and dengue cases had been reported.

Mr. Selvakumar said Tamil Nadu had the highest number of laboratory testing facilities for dengue. There were 125 centres where the ELISA test for dengue fever was being carried out. He said 24-hour fever clinics were functioning in all government hospitals.

The government had also produced an adequate quantity of nilavembu podi (a herbal powder considered effective in preventing dengue) for distribution in government hospitals, primary health centres and places of public gathering. “Nilavembu kudineer (herbal concoction) has been distributed to 1.07 crore people so far this year,” the official said and pointed out that a 24-hour control room was functioning at the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine to monitor the fever situation.

The public could access necessary information from the control room by dialling 044-29510400 / 044-29510500 / 9444340496 / 8754448477. Alternatively, information could be obtained by dialling 104, the affidavit added.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:04:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/96-dengue-deaths-reported-in-tn-since-2015-govt-tells-hc/article29694511.ece

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