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Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur: The opposition parties, BJP and Congress, today held the State government responsible for the outbreak of jaundice in Sambalpur which has claimed around 20 lives in last 20 days.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan visited the affected areas in the western district today. He later said the outbreak of the water-borne disease could have been averted if measures would have been taken on time.

"Though the report of water contamination was with the State government much earlier, it paid little attention to it. The disease taking endemic proportions could have been prevented from the beginning if necessary steps would have been taken at the right time," Pradhan added.

However, the Centre is ready to provide all possible help in this regard if the State government asks for it, he said while speaking to mediapersons after the visit.

Similarly, newly-appointed State Congress president Prasad Harichandan today visited the patients admitted in various hospitals and took stock of the situation by discussing the issue with concerned doctors.

"The condition is still grim," Prasad told waiting mediapersons. “The medical facilities provided to the patients are totally inadequate. Though the government is making tall claims about increasing infrastructure to deal with the situation, patients can be seen being treated without beds available to them,” he added.

However, the ruling BJD contested the Opposition charges claiming that all measures have been taken to contain the disease. "There is no negligence on the part of the State government. All possible measures are being taken to check the outbreak of the disease," Sambalpur MLA and BJD spokesperson Raseswari Devi said in reaction to the comments of the BJP and Congress leaders.

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