Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Dec 6:
Two Odisha ministers today visited the district headquarters hospital of Sambalpur and reviewed the situation arising out of the rising number jaundice cases in the town.
Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Urban Development minister Puspendra Singhdeo inquired about the health condition of the patients admitted at the hospital and told health officials to provide free treatment, including free medicines and free diagnostics, to persons afflicted with jaundice. The ministers also tried to ascertain the reasons behind the spread of the disease. Sources said the killer disease has already claimed ten lives.
Minister Singhdeo said the five water samples collected from different localities of the town three days ago and sent to a laboratory in Pune have tested negative for jaundice virus. He, however, admitted that tests of water samples earlier tested by the state Health department had tested positive for jaundice virus.
“The report received from Pune has dispelled the belief that jaundice was spreading due to consumption of contaminated water. We are taking steps for quick disposal of solid waste lying in different localities,” said Singhdeo.
“As you know jaundice spreads through various means including contaminated water. We are taking steps for disinfecting water sources irrespective of whether they are contaminated or not. We will seek people’s cooperation for suspension of piped water supply for disinfecting the supply system. During this period, treated drinking water will be supplied through tankers. More manpower will be engaged for speedier cleaning of drains and disposal of waste lying in dumps,” said Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.
Nayak informed that officials of the concerned departments are camping in the town for the last three days to prevent the spread of the disease.
The ministers were accompanied by secretaries of their respective departments and local MLA Dr Raseswari Panigrahi during their visit to the hospital.
The ministers reviewed the situation with the collector and other district officials of the concerned department later in the day.