Kerala has been hit by an epidemic of contiguous diseases after as many as 420 people have succumbed to fever and over 22 lakh have taken treatment since January in Kerala this year.
This was stated by the Kerala Health Minister K. K. Shylaja while replying to the notice for an adjournment motion moved by Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. She also stated that about 74 persons had succumbed to H1N1 or Swine flu, 24 persons to dengue and 2 deaths have been attributed to an infection by Shigella bacteria. Four cases of cholera were also reported among migrant workers.
The Health Minister then praised her government by claiming that it was because of the timely intervention by the Health Department, that the epidemic outbreak was controlled in the state.
The opposition though was in no mood to buy her claims and after alleging failure of the government to check the spread of contagious diseases, staged a walkout in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, the former minister, alleged that there were major discrepancies in the fever death toll provided by the government and the actual numbers which he pegged to be about 1000. He claimed that this year about 50 lakh people had fallen ill due to fever, out of which 14 lakh had been treated in hospitals. He also tried to pick holes in the government’s claim the rise in fever cases was due to climatic variations and the abnormal fluctuation in temperature.
The leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala also decided to take part in the attack. He accused the government of not carrying out any proper pre-monsoon clean-up drive in a timely manner which caused an uncontrollable spread of contagious diseases. He alleged that the clean up drive was just a three-day affair before the rainy season started.
In July there were reports of many as 14,600 people have been reported to be affected by dengue in last one month. Kerala’s Health Minister, KK Shylaja, had then called the outbreak “unprecedented” and blamed an early arrival of rainfall for the rapid outbreak.