Chikungunya looms over Kochi

The team found that the surroundings would hasten an outbreak of the disease

Kochi: A total of 35 chikungunya cases have been confirmed by the District Medical Officer, triggering fears of an outbreak, especially in the West Kochi region.

“The cases have been mainly reported from Mattancherry which is facing acute drinking water shortage. People there store water in vessels for use in future. During inspection we found that the vessels were left open and mosquitoes were breeding in them,” said Haseena Muhammed, DMO.

Earlier in the day, a Health Department squad led by Haseena visited the affected region – Ward V of Mattancherry areas like Valiyaparambu. The team found that the surroundings would hasten an outbreak of the disease.

“There is a threat of the disease spreading fast. We’ve asked the people to empty the vessels in which water is being stored. The Kochi Corporation should supply drinking water at least once in two days. At present the residents store water for a week,” the officer said.

The department will immediately launch preventive measures like fogging and awareness campaigns in West Kochi and has taken up the matter with the Kochi Corporation.

However, Health Standing Committee Chairman T. K.Ashraf accused the District Medial Officer of raising a false alarm. “The figure of 35 cases is not true. There are only eight cases in the entire Fort Kochi-Mattancherry area. The Health Department should act to fill at least 18 posts of doctors lying vacant in main hospitals of the region.”

However, he admitted that West Kochi was under acute drinking water shortage.

“This can be resolved only after completing the new drinking water project currently being executed,” he said.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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