Ban on unlicensed ice-cream firms

Staff Reporter

Steps to check spread of contagious diseases

KOCHI: The district administration will impose a temporary ban on unlicensed companies producing ice-creams and soft drinks as part of the measures to check the spread of contagious diseases, including jaundice.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the district-level coordination committee on contagious diseases at the Collectorate on Saturday.

District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, who presided over the meeting, said ice-cream and soft drink companies functioning without the license from the grama panchayats or municipalities would have to face a temporary ban in the background of reports on the spread of jaundice in the district.

Surprise checking would be conducted at all food outlets in the district, including ice-cream parlours.

A health protection pledge would be taken by students of all schools in the district on February 21.

The Collector said an inquiry would be conducted into the death of a student at a private hospital in Aluva to determine if any mistake had been caused by the hospital.

Report sought

The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) had been asked to produce reports on the maintenance projects for the drinking water distribution lines in Kochi Corporation as well as the four grama panchayats from where cases of jaundice was reported.

Hourly tests of the drinking water should be conducted at the boosters by KWA officials at the Executive Engineer level, along with the intense chlorination of the drinking water to be conducted at pump houses.

Steps would also be taken to ensure that the results of the tests done on the quality of water samples were available quickly. More number of medical camps would be conducted in the areas where jaundice cases were diagnosed. Preventive medicines from the departments of homoeo and ayurveda would be distributed through special camps.

The local self-governing bodies would be allowed to spent an amount of 10 per cent from the funds allocated for maintenance works for purchasing enough medicines for the primary health centres. The Government had already given permission for this.

Special awareness programmes led by Kudumbasree units, Nehru Yuva Kendra and anganwadi workers would be conducted in the areas from where cases were reported.

The notices for the awareness campaigns would be provided from the Total Sanitation Campaign, according to the Collector.

Directives were issued to ensure that only boiled water was distributed from anganwadis. Drinking water would be distributed in tankers in the areas facing water shortage, according to the Chief Minister's directive.

The Collector said that the District Medical Officer (DMO) should be informed of all cases of contagious diseases, including jaundice reported at the private hospitals. Ramani, DMO, said that the spread of leptospirosis was not confirmed in the district so far, even though there were reports claiming two deaths reportedly due to the disease.

Two cases of malaria were reported during the past two months. Out of the 37 cases of typhoid reported in the city, almost 90 per cent of cases were from West Kochi. Dr. Ramani said more attention should be given to tackle the issue. The public was requested to inform the DMO in case any instances of contagious diseases like jaundice or any other strange diseases were reported at Ph: 0484 - 2372616.