Kerala in the grip of viral fever, over 100 deaths so far

Thiruvananthapuram: With over 100 deaths being reported since January in Kerala due to various types of fevers, government on Sunday appealed to the people to join its mass sanitation drive on a war footing.

Health Department sources here said 103 people, including women and children, have succumbed to various types of fevers including H1N1, leptospirosis and dengue from January till date. Of the 103 deaths, 53 people have died of H1N1 and 13 due to dengue, the sources said.

Breeding of mosquitoes due to piling of waste was considered to be prime reason for the spread of fever and other communicable diseases, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding social hygiene was essential to keep diseases at bay.

“Political party activists, representatives of local self government institutions and members of socio-cultural outfits and clubs should take part in the sanitation drive on war footing,” he said in a statement. Stating that the government had already stepped up its sanitation drive with the support of local people, Pinarayi said fever cases have reduced in those places where waste management and mosquito control measures have been implemented effectively. He said the government had ensured enough stock of essential medicines and the service of doctors in all government hospitals.

Chennithala blames Shylaja

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition, Ramesh Chennithala, visited Pinarayi at his official residence here on Sunday and submitted a memorandum with some suggestions to tackle the crisis. He alleged that 117 people had died due to fever in the state since January.

At least an average of 20,000 persons are arriving at state hospitals seeking treatment for fever. “Youngsters and children are succumbing to viral fever” and there was emergency situation, he said. Chennithala also said the health department had failed miserably in containing the fever and blamed state health minister K.K. Shylaja for not rising to the occasion. Refuting the charges, the minister said the opposition was trying to take political mileage over the situation. A united effort is needed to overcome the situation, she said in Kochi.

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