Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack/Barbil: Concerned over the alarming spread of dengue in Odisha, the state government today appointed a senior IAS officer as nodal officer to monitor measures to monitor the drive against the water borne disease.

A decision to this effect was taken at a joint meeting of the Health and Family Welfare and Housing and Urban Development department at the State Secretariat in Bhubaneswar today.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the incidence of dengue is high in Barbil in Keonjhar district, Cuttack city and its Jagatpur Industrial Estate area. The virus has been found mostly in the urban pockets of the state.

He said a total of 797 patients have been identified in the state of which 541 are from Barbil alone. Of the total number of patients, treatment of 130 patients is underway in various hospitals in the state.

“To take stock of the situation, the Health department had a meeting with the Housing and Urban Development department today. As per the directive of the Housing and Urban Development minister, Joint Secretary of his concerned department Ramchandra Sachin Jadhav has been appointed as the nodal officer who will visit the urban pockets of the affected districts to assess the situation,” Nayak said.

He said a massive cleaning operation would be conducted in the affected areas as well the areas where there is a possibility of the spread of dengue.

About the measures taken by his department to stop the spread of the disease to other parts of the state, a dengue ward has been opened in all district headquarters hospitals and arrangements have been made for the free treatment of the patients.

Housing and Urban Development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo said an action plan was formulated at the meeting. “As per the plan, a massive cleaning drive would be conducted in all urban pockets involving the NGOs to minimise the spread of the vector borne disease. Along with this, an intensive awareness campaign will also be conducted as a preventive measures against the disease,” he said.

Meanwhile, the inflow of the dengue patients to the SCB Medical College has gone up.

Talking to media persons today, Emergency Officer of the medical college Dr Bhubanananda Maharana said 78 patients have been admitted in the hospital till today of which five have been admitted in the ICU. Out of the 78 patients, 54 are male and 24 female. Of the five patients admitted in the ICU, two each are from Cuttack and Mayurbhanj and one from Bhadrak.

Out of 78 patients admitted in the hospital, 34 are from Cuttack, 18 from Keonjhar, 7 each from Kendrapara and Jajpur, 4 from Bhadrak, 2 from Jagatsinghpur and one patient each from Dhenkanal, Khurda, Puri, Boudh, Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts, Maharana said.

“The condition of all the patients is stable,” he added.

He also said out of the 105 blood samples tested yesterday, 33 have tested positive. Of the 33 patients, 19 are from Cuttack, 6 from Keonjhar, 5 from Bhadrak, 2 from Jagatsinghpur and one from Jajpur.

Maharana further said the Medical College authorities have increased the number of beds in the dengue ward from 50 to 90.

“Considering the rise in the number of patients, we have planned to add 40 additional beds in the ward, most probably by tonight. We will add more beds if the number of patients rises further. Previously, we had made arrangements for 200-250 beds in the hospital,” he said, adding that the treatment of all dengue patients is being done free of cost in the hospital.

As per latest reports, dengue has spread to Sundargarh and Ganjam districts. While three patients are being treated in Rourkela, four patients have tested positive at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur.