While Mamata Banerjee Urges No Panic On Dengue, Neighbour Gets The Fever

Despite chief minister Mamata Banerjee's repeated "no need to panic" message, there is panic even in her own backyard.

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While Mamata Banerjee Urges No Panic On Dengue, Neighbour Gets The Fever

Opposition claims Mamata Banerjee, who is also health minister, is fudging figures.

Kolkata:  West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is vehement in her appeal to the people of the state. "There is no reason to panic about dengue. If you have fever, just go to a doctor," she said today.

But despite her repeated "no need to panic" message, there is panic even in her own backyard. Just 200 yards from her Kalighat home as the mosquito flies, a feverish 30-year-old Rinki Dasgupta was rushed to hospital Friday. Diagnosis: Dengue.

Her family - a five year old daughter, husband and in-laws - are fed up with media queries about dengue in the VIP neighbourhood. And neighbours are nervous.

Keka Pal, who lives in a house behind the four-storey building in which Rinki's family lives, is most worried about her children. "We can be careful but children run around and if the mosquito that bit Rinki bites anyone else, they could get dengue as well," she said.

There has been fogging and spraying in the area but who knows where the dreaded dengue carrier could be breeding.

"There could be dengue in the CM's para (neighbourhood) or even in your house," said Subhash Karmakar, who was busily making clay idols of Gods and Goddesses on Kalighat Road. "There could be dengue in the PM's house also. You have to be careful."

Biswajit Bhowmick, seated at the idol-makers workshop, said, "People are dying of dengue in West Bengal - one or two every day. Not just in CM area but across the state. The councillors are trying to control the situation."

Mamata Banerjee did not know the neighbour or of her plight. "No I don't know about this case. But my para and every para is same for me. I have to take care of everyone. If anyone dies, it is very sad."

Opposition claims Mamata Banerjee, who is also health minister, is fudging figures.

She says there have been 13 confirmed dengue deaths in government hospitals in the state and 27 deaths in private hospitals that need to be double checked. Total 40.

Opposition says over 1,000 people are dead and one lakh affected. Ms Banerjee says only 21,000 are reportedly affected.

"The BJP is saying all kinds of things but let them look at BJP-run states. 435 people have died in Gujarat, a much smaller state than Bengal. Even Rajasthan, UP, MP," she said

But with the Opposition on the streets, there is pressure and Mamata Banerjee has warned civic bodies they could be axed if they don't perform. "If I find municipal bodies have got money from the health department and still failed to do anything, I will dissolve them," she said.

Ms Banerjee also blamed unseasonal rains for an unusually long dengue season in the state.

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