Even as Tamil Nadu grapples with rising numbers of dengue cases, an 11-month baby from Namakkal succumbed to the disease at a private hospital in Salem on Tuesday morning.
Sijah, an 11-month baby from Nammakal was admitted to Sri Gokulam Hospital a week ago due to dengue and passed away on Tuesday morning.
On Monday, there were reports that seven people across Tamil Nadu had died due to dengue. The number includes two people from Tirupur district, Bhavita and a Class VIII student, Arundathi, Shanthi who passed away at JIPMER hospital in Puducherry, Shankar from Krishnagiri district, and Praveen Kumar, a Class XI student from Nagapattinam, states a report.
However, the Health Department has not confirmed the deaths.
Speaking to TNM, Director of Public Health, Dr. Kolandaisamy, said, “We cannot say anything based on reports by news channels, there are various reasons for fever. We cannot make a comment regarding that. The situation is coming under control, government and people are together carrying out cleaning up process. In one hand, we are carrying out cleaning and on the other, providing treatment, only this can reduce dengue cases.”
Asked about a statement made by the joint director of National Vector Control Programme that Tamil Nadu had not taken any steps to prevent dengue, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan told Tamil channel Thanthi TV, “National Vector Control Programme is carried out by both the State and Central government, they are already providing us Rs. 14 crores as funds. But the main concern right now is to eradicate mosquito breeding. I need to clarify about this statement,” he said.
Speaking about the measures to be taken by the public, J Radhakrishnan said, “People need to make sure that there is no stagnated water in their surroundings, including in empty vessels, containers which could lead to mosquito breeding. There have been more cases of dengue reported in Salem, Madurai, Pudukkottai and Chennai. We cannot confirm the number of deaths as there could be various reasons for fever,” he said.
However, he added that 11000 dengue positive cases have been detected this year and that 20,000 notices have been issued to residents and organisations under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act.
Addressing the media on Sunday, J Radhakrishnan had said that in total, 35 people have died due to dengue in the state this year and that 85 people have died due to fever.
Though the dengue cases have been spiking in the state, the Health Secretary had refused to declare a public health emergency, claiming that it would create panic among people.
“Moreover, under the Public Health Act, there is no such thing. It is an American terminology. The World Health Organisation has said focus on source reduction. The cause has to be prevented and our focus is on mosquito breeding source eradication,” the Health Secretary told TNM.