Bhubaneswar: Five more officers have been appointed in Orissa`s Rayagada district to tackle cholera and other water-borne diseases which have claimed 40 lives in the tribal area since August, an official said Saturday.
They posted are probationary Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, a senior official of the state`s general administration department said.
"They have been assigned the responsibility of monitoring various steps taken to combat cholera and diarrhoea and also assist the administration in better surveillance," he said.
Bijaya Ketan Upadhaya has been assigned to monitor activities in Kashipur block and Jayakumar V has been asked to work at K.Singhpur block of Rayagada district.
Similarly, Tirumala Naik will handle the situation in Bisamcuttack block, Gouri Parasara and Prasant Kumar Reddy will be in-charge of surveillance in the district.
A state health official said that at least 1,300 people were infected by the diseases in more than 250 villages.
He said no fresh deaths were reported and the toll was 40, but officials continued to struggle to bring the diseases under control.
Describing the situation as alarming, the opposition Congress has alleged that the toll has crossed the 140 mark in Rayagada district which is among the most underdeveloped districts of the country and is often in news for starvation deaths.
Meanwhile, a three-member central team arrived in the affected area Saturday for assessing the situation.
The team, led by Jagbir Singh, the national project officer of the Delhi-based National Centre for Disease Control, held discussions with senior officials in the district headquarters of Rayagada, some 390 km from Bhubaneswar.