Thiruvananthapuram: Under attack from opposition parties in the assembly over outbreak of a fever in the state, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday said unlike previous years, the disease is under control this time.
"Today (Wednesday) is the 13th day that the assembly is in session and today you say that this is a grave issue of the state. Much delay in raising this issue clearly indicates that fever, unlike in previous years, has not taken a toll this time," said Chandy.
Numerous preventive steps have been taken, he said, adding that the state government has done everything possible to fill up vacancies in the health department.
"We have ensured that doctors have been appointed on temporary basis...we have ensured the supply of medicines to all health centres, besides sanctioning more funds for maintaining cleanliness," the chief minister said.
Earlier, opposition Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Mullakara Ratnakaran sought to move an adjournment motion to discuss the issue in the assembly.
"Over a million people have been affected by fever this year and there is a huge shortage of both medical professionals and medicines," said Ratnakaran, also a former minister.
"...the Kerala health department is lying in the intensive care unit and some serious steps have to be taken to revive it," he said.
Replying to this, state Health Minister VS Sivakumar said: "Compared to the previous years, the incidence of fever has come down. Last year in June, there were 4.67 lakh people suffering from fever, and this June the figure has come down to 2.96 lakh."
"Likewise, in June last year the total number of people suffering from dengue, chickunguniya and similar ailments was 18,815, and in this year the figure has come down to 4,766," said Sivakumar.
Leader of Opposition VS Achuthanandan blamed the Congress-led United Democratic Front government, saying: "Whatever we raise in the assembly, you always come up with the stock statement, that all these things also happened during our tenure and you get away."
Later, Achuthanandan led the entire opposition to stage a walkout from assembly.