'Alarming' health situation in Agra region prompts drastic measures by Yogi govt

9/5/2021
Half a dozen of state government officials were suspended in Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad after an alarming surge in cases of Dengue, viral fever, and some "unspecified" ailment.


Action was also taken against a couple of others in Mathura and Agra.

The local bodies in Firozabad have come under heavy criticism for neglecting cleanliness.

After the cases multiplied in the last ten days, a big drive has been launched but "it will take weeks for results to show," a local politician said.

The Agra district magistrate P.N. Singh has issued a series of instructions for the health department to sensitise people about the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases.

The Agra Municipal Corporation has given notices to more than 250 households after several teams visited localities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the slums and low-income group areas had seen a lower percentage of infection, for whatever reason, but the graph is now going up with rising numbers of cases of Malaria, dengue, viral fever, according to health workers.

The S.N. Medical College hospital wards are full, so is the district hospital.

The Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the rural areas are seeing an abnormal increase in the number of patients.

A team of the Central government is already in Firozabad taking stock of the situation.

According to doctors, the chief cause of the surge in the number of patients is "directly related to the piling garbage dumps, choked sewer, and overflowing gutters in municipal areas".

Though the municipal corporation has started fogging inner-city areas and the cleanliness drive has been upticked, the citizens themselves will need to gear up on this front, said Devashish Bhattacharya, an environmentalist.

Om Prakash Choudhary, incharge of fogging, said a roster was being followed.

Initially, the localities with dense population have been identified for fogging.

District Malaria Officer R.K. Dixit said "we are surveying and constantly monitoring the situation in all the urban clusters and spraying anti-larvae medicines."

On Saturday, Additional Principal Secretary Hemant Rao, the nodal officer dispatched by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, visited many areas including the waste treatment plants.

The municipal corporation is daily spending more than a lakh rupees to spray and fog congested areas in the city, with 14 big machines and 24 bike mounted machines.

"The whole city is dug up and you have poodles everywhere. It's easy for mosquitoes to breed and multiply. The state government has now sanctioned some Rs 50 crores for filling up potholes but it will all take time," said Jugal Kishor Pandit, an activist.

Most patients with dengue are coming to the Agra Medical College hospital from the rural hinterland where public hygiene is a big concern.

The hospital has patients from Mathura, Firozabad and Shikohabad rural and semi-urban pockets, doctors said.

Meanwhile, thermal screening of visitors has again been started at the Taj Mahal, to ensure Covid-19 positive persons were isolated promptly.

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