Three killed, 600 affected in Bengal due to dengue



Burdwan (WB): At least three persons have been killed and 600 people affected in West Bengal due to dengue, state Health Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said on Sunday.

"We have got reports that three dengue patients have died while another 600 are affected in the state," Bhattacharya told reporters here.

Unofficial reports have however, claimed that more than 20 people have died.

The minister said the state government has alerted all hospitals and municipalities on the disease outbreak.

Apart from Kolkata, other districts hit by the vector-borne disease are North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Nadia.

MLA Nirmal Majhi, who is also chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Health, claimed that the previous Left Front government had misutlisied funds to the tune of Rs 4000 crore.

"There should be a CID enquiry on this," he said.

Mayor-in Council (Health) Atin Ghosh said the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) would release a white paper on the dengue situation in the metropolis on Tuesday.

"Situation is such that even the Army would find it difficult to tackle," Ghosh said. State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said, "It is unfortunate that the government has not been able to do much to control the spread of the disease. It should work on a war-footing to control the menace."

He alleged, "hospitals have been instructed not to mention dengue in the reports of patients. The government is trying to hide facts, it should instead urgently tackle the situation."

Congress workers staged a road blockade at Kidderpore in west Kolkata alleging failure by the KMC to tackle the situation and help affected people.

The party workers also demanded resignation of Mayor Sovon Chattopadhyay. Refuting the allegations, Health Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, "This is a sheer lie being spread by the Congress that we are suppressing the figures of dengue affected people."

She insisted that the state government is handling the situation with utmost sincerity.

"But others are playing unnecessary politics over it," the minister said.

PTI