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Rout pill to check dengue outbreak

Cuttack, Aug. 3: Health minister Damodar Rout today reviewed the dengue situation in the city and asked civic body officials to pull up their socks to contain the outbreak of the disease.

Reviewing the dengue situation at a meeting in the district collector’s office here today, Rout said out of 2,321 blood samples that were collected, 523 persons was tested dengue positive in Odisha. However, no one has died of dengue so far.

Some 326 persons have been affected by the vector-borne disease in Cuttack alone.

In 2011, dengue had claimed 33 lives while only six deaths were reported last year.

“There is absolutely no reason to panic as adequate steps have been taken to create awareness and contain the dengue outbreak, which is common during the monsoon period,” said Rout.

Many patients, who were earlier admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital with the disease, have already been discharged. At present, 93 patients are being treated at SCB’s dengue ward.

On the other hand, tension prevailed in the city as Opposition parties, including Congress and the BJP, demonstrated outside the district collector’s office here today.

The BJP activists later surrounded Lalbagh police station to protest against the cops’ alleged lathicharge against them. At least three activists were injured in the lathicharge.

The cops had allegedly used the stick to disperse protesters once they tried to storm into the collector’s office, where Rout was reviewing the dengue situation.

The Opposition parties were protesting against the alleged inefficiency of the state government and the Cuttack Municipal Corporation to contain the dengue outbreak as presence of the disease have already been reported in 31 of 54 wards in the city.

“We had come to stage a protest as state government has not yet admitted dengue deaths that have occurred in the city. However, the cops brutally attacked us, in which three of our activists were injured,” said BJP youth wing president Sikandar Ali.

Alleging failure of the corporation and the state health department, the Congress also staged a demonstration at the collectorate today.

Police officials, however, denied lathicharge against the protesters. “The BJP activists did not take any prior permission to demonstrate at the venue. When they tried to storm into the collector’s office, we chased them away,” said inspector in charge of Lalbagh police station Jayant Mohapatra.