Odishatv Bureau

Rayagada: Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak on Monday reviewed the cholera situation in Palama in Kalyansinghpur in Rayagada district at a meeting with the district collector and other concerned officials at the Rayagada circuit house here.

The health minister directed authorities to ensure 24-hour healthcare and drinking water supply in the disease affected areas.

“We discussed how to create awareness and ensure safe drinking water to the affected blocks of the districts. We have deployed a team at the district hospital and a State-level team of doctors is also helping them out. Water samples are being tested everyday. We have also set up health camps and MHUs to tackle the situation,” said Nayak.

Meanwhile, another cholera death was reported from Palama Panchayat taking the death toll to five. According to sources, more than 30 people are undergoing treatment for cholera.

Later in the day, the director of the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) Namita Mohapatra confirmed the incidence of cholera in Kalyansinghpur block in Rayagada district after stool test revealed presence of bacteria.

"As many as 28 persons were affected with diarrhoea between July 16 and 22 in the block. Our team of microbiologists went to the area and collected five samples of which two had the presence of Vibrio cholera bacteria," RMRC director Namita Mohapatra said.

A team of RMRC would soon visit the affected villages, she said.

The state Health Secretary Arati Ahuja, however, denied the allegation and claimed the five persons died of diarrhoea and not due to cholera.

"It is a fact that two persons have been tested positive of cholera. These two persons are under treatment.

The persons who died earlier suffered from diarrhea and cholera," Ahuja told PTI.

Rejecting the allegation that cholera has taken an epidemic form in Kalyansinghpur area, the secretary claimed no water sources have tested positive for cholera virus.

"The situation is completely under control and there is nothing to panic," she said.

Stating that cholera is also a type of diarrhea, Rayagada additional district medical officer Siba Prasad Padhi said as two samples have tested positive, all patients were undergoing treatment for cholera.