Odishatv Bureau

Malkangiri: The death toll due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) reached 98 on Thursday with the death of another kid- Gobind Kope of Bayanaikguda - at the district headquarters hospital here even as an eight-member expert team from Ayush department visited the district and enquired the cause of the spread of deadly virus.

The team visited the affected villages and met the people. "We found that so many kids in the district are suffering from malnutrition. In order to increase their immune power, we are planning to administer them with homeopathy treatment, which has been a success in other States", a team member said.

"We are in the process of negotiation with State government. We would start distributing the medicines soon after getting the State's go ahead", another member said.

Earlier in the day, Mangaraj Madkami of Korakanda, a seven-year-old boy died due to the vectore borne disease at the district headquarters hospital.

Meanwhile, the Health department today claimed 86 children have died at the Malkangiri district headquarters hospital so far.

Kailash Chandra Dash, director at the Health department, said while 30 kids died at the Malkangiri hospital because of the Japanese Encephalitis, 56 lost their lives due to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

He added as the State government has targeted to undertake vaccination in the area in December, training is being provided to the staff of the district headquarters hospital.

Dash said, “More specialists and nurses are engaged at the hospital. Besides, the intensive care unit (ICU) has been strengthened.”

On the other hand, Adivasi Samaj Mahasangh has intensified its agitation against the government for failure in checking the vector-borne disease. The members of the tribal body on Wednesday had stormed the office of Collector after a rally in the town. Hundreds of tribals gheraoed the Collectorate for quite some time. They said the movement would be intensified in the future.

The tribal group also had observed a 12-hour shutdown on November 8 in Malkangiri district, protesting against the failure of the state government in containing the outbreak of the disease in the region.

Also read: NCPCR seeks report on Japanese Encephalitis

The shutdown called by the Zila Adivasi Samaj Mahasangh had disrupted vehicular movement in the district, while shops and businesses remained shut from 6 AM to till late evening. Members of the group have taken to the streets, protesting with posters and placards.

Notably, the toll of children's death continues to rise in the district despite various measures taken by the government to prevent the outbreak of the vector borne disease.

Sources said, around 30 patients are undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospitals out of which condition of six are stated to be critical, who are in the ICU currently.

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