Chances of epidemic loom large in TN

Chances of epidemic loom large in TN

With the flood water gradually receding in rain-battered Chennai and its neighbouring districts, medical experts have asked the people to take necessary precautions as chances of an epidemic loom large.

The doctors, who have been working with disaster management teams, advised people to maintain proper hygiene even as hundreds of children and women thronged various hospitals for vector-borne diseases like malaria.

Although several thousands stranded in the flood water were evacuated to safer places, the stagnant water has posed threat to the densely populated low-lying areas in North Chennai and several parts of Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts that were badly affected by heavy rain.

Authorities set up several hundred medical camps as a preventive measure to control diseases. However, civic and health department officials are still apprehensive about a possible outbreak of dengue and malaria in waterlogged areas.

Moreover, the fact that the incessant rain has rendered corporations in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur civic bodies defunct has led to piling up of garbage, compounding the threat. Health officials also cautioned that the situation would be more alarming if carcasses of animals that have perished in the floods are not removed and disposed of quickly and properly.

Sources at the AIIMS said it was very important now to consume safe and clean water to avoid diseases. They said the post-flood situation in the affected area of Tamil Nadu would become critical with possibilities of diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and other infections spreading.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday night announced Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who died in floods.

Focus on evacuation

The rescue teams are focussing on quick completion of the evacuation process.  “At present, our priority is to totally evacuate those left stranded and provide them with drinking water and food,” said a member of the National Disaster Response Force team working in rain-hit Mudichur in Kancheepuram district.

He said the state government must ensure that the carcasses are cleared at the earliest.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijaya Bhaskar said about 2,000 calls were received daily by the Health Department’s toll-free number. “In addition, ‘108’, which is for the ambulance services, is also receiving about 300 calls,” he added.

The minister said his department has set up 200 additional special health camps in the rain-hit areas to provide timely treatment to the people.

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