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Three more deaths, toll at 131

Siliguri, Aug. 5: Three persons, including a child, died from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome or Japanese Encephalitis at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital here today, taking the toll across the region since January to 131.

NBMCH sources said Mujibar Rehman, 40, a resident of Fatapukur in Jalpaiguri district, and Dilip Saha, 65, of Sitai in Dinhata of Cooch Behar had died from AES, while Rama Burman, 10, of Raiganj in North Dinajpur, succumbed to JE.

Biswaranjan Sathpathy, the director of health services of Bengal, however, denied information of any AES deaths today. “So far, 118 people have died from AES or JE since January this year. There were no deaths today,” he said over the phone.

In another development, people of Jateswar in Falakata allegedly said they wouldn’t let a patient, who had been discharged from NBMCH after being cured of JE, come back home.

“May father was suffering from JE and was under treatment. Today, the doctor told us that he was cured and would be discharged. As we informed our relatives and friends in Jateswar, a section of villagers said they didn’t want my father to return home now. They were worried that the disease could be spread from my father,” said Anupam Roy, the son of 60-year-old Prakash Roy.

“I called them up and said my father was fit to return home. But they said as he is infected with JE, he should return only after he is completely fit. I tried to convince them that JE does not spread from person to person. But they didn’t pay heed,” he added.

Anupam said he had urged the doctor to keep his father under treatment for some more days. “I don’t know what is to be done if the doctor refuses to admit him again,” said the son.