Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a series of urgent sanitation measures (File Photo)
With 100 deaths in Kerala this year due to fever, and hospitals overcrowded with nearly 7,000 dengue patients, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a series of urgent sanitation measures. Ordering "massive cleanliness drives", he has appointed a minister in-charge of every district to oversee progress on ensuring cleanliness and hygiene.
"27, 28, 29 of June will witness massive cleanliness drives by people all across the state. One minister will be in-charge of every district to oversee all efforts and an all-party meeting will be convened on 23rd," Mr Vijayan told reporters.
Confirmed dengue cases have already seen an increase of over 200 per cent in comparison to last year.
45-year-old Anitha has been coming to the crowded General Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram for the last 10 days as her blood platelet count has dropped unusually.
"I have a blood platelet count of 1 lakh, doctor asked me not to get admitted. He said that otherwise I will have to sleep on the floor because only serious patients can be given beds," Anitha said.
Around 100 fever related deaths have been reported since January this year. There have been 53 H1N1 deaths this year already in comparison to none last year. In the first six months of the year, Kerala has witnessed 13 dengue deaths, in comparison to the previous year's record which is six.
Doctors say the H1N1 spurt is due to the natural cycle of the influenza virus. But the monsoon season, with stagnant water and tonnes of garbage piled all across, has worsened the fever related cases.
However, Mr Vijayan asserted, "There is no need for people to be panic. The further spread of fever can be contained through the mass cleanliness drive."
"The fever-affected places will be divided as high-risk, moderate-risk and lower-risk areas according to the intensity and the spread of the disease," he said adding area-specific programmes would be evolved to contain further spread.
Besides government doctors, the services of doctors in the private sector and that of PG medical students would also be utilised to meet the situation, the Chief Minister added.