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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) reaching 85 with the death of three children in Malkangiri district today, the Odisha government has formed a team of experts to bring the vector-borne disease under control.

According to sources, the team comprises six experts with knowledge and expertise on JE in India and abroad. The Health department has sought suggestions from the team as how to tackle the killer disease in Malkangiri and other places in the State.

The team led by Jacob Jones is expected to visit Malkangiri tomorrow.

“The team is currently taking stock of the situation and comparing it with the outbreaks in other places in India. As these experts are involved in tackling JE, we have sought their help in making us understand how the situation is different from other parts of the country,” said Madan Mohan Pradhan, Joint Director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

On the other hand, owing to the Maoists’ bandh call, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has not advised by the police not to visit Malkangiri to review JE situation. However, his party has alleged a conspiracy behind not allowing the minister to visit Malkangiri.

“The administrative officials have conspired on the direction of the Chief Minister and we condemn such approach,” said BJP leader Sameer Mohanty.

BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb said, “When the Maoists have given a bandh call and the whole area is on red alert, it is not appropriate for a Union minister to visit the place and that is why the district administration has not given permission.”

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