Govt gears up as jaundice cases mount to 30 in State capital

Bhubaneswar: The sudden spurt in jaundice cases in Bhubaneswar, which rose from 12 to 30 in less than 12 hours, has sent the State government into a tizzy.

The Urban Development department convened a meeting in this regard at the secretariat here to contain the water borne disease.

After reviewing the situation, Housing and Urban Development minister Pushpendra Singh Deo said all the contaminated tube-wells in the city will be closed forthwith. Alternative provision for safe drinking water will be made for the people, he said.

“Ward-level welfare committees will be constituted to check possible sources of water contamination. Besides awareness, vans will move around the city from tomorrow.”

Jharana basti, a slum in Ward 53 where chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence (Naveen Niwas) is located, was found to be the epicentre of the disease reporting all the 30 cases, health officials said after a field visit to the area.

Officials said, a public health unit has started distributing hygiene kits along with chlorine tablets among the residents in the area.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Anant Narayan Jena, who is monitoring the situation, said, “We have started supplying water in the area through tankers since morning. Besides, we have urged the residents to improve cleanliness and sanitation. The situation is under control.”

Last year, the yellow fever disease had killed around 30 people and affected over 4000, mostly in Sambalpur and Cuttack. Around 40 policemen residing at police reserve barracks in Bhubaneswar were found suffering from the disease in the State capital in 2015.