Malkangiri, Nov 16: Ironically, just when the Health and Family Welfare minister, Pradip Kumar Amat announced that the spread of Japanese Encephalitis, the deadly vector-borne disease is taken under control here, JE played its another turn and took five more lives in a row while the kids were being treated at the ICU of the district headquarters hospital, thus taking the death toll to 113 on Wednesday. The children who died were Sibani Patra aged 10 belonging to Sindhabeda area, Sidharth Beti aged 3 belonging to Kataguda area in Kalimela, Sibani Padiami aged 4 belonging to Potrel village under Korakonda block and Sahadeb Padiami aged 3 belonging to Simagudi and Kasturi Hantala of Chitapalichari area here.
It’s stated that Pardeep Amat said that the Odisha government had declared that the disease is now well under control after the death toll rose to 93 here just in a span of two months. It was said that out of the death of 93, 32 were because of JE and the rest 61 died because of other diseases, in a way the minister wanted to shove up the situation. The minister further added that 17 children were undergoing treatment at the main hospital here out of which six were admitted in the ICU while 11 other are admitted in the affected disease ward and the total number of villages affected till now is 180 here in seven blocks. Pradeep Amat further claimed that the central government has also provided 15,000 Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITMN) to prevent the spread of the disease but Odisha was yet to receive ITMN given by the Centre. Lastly, the minister ensured that the vaccination programme against JE would begin here by the next month. Rejecting the minister’s statement, state BJP president Basant Panda claimed that the JE death toll in Malkangiri along was above 100.