Ranchi: Jharkhand government has issued an adivisory cautioning people against vector-borne diseases. “People have been advised to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites. They are advised to keep their bodies covered, clean water containers regularly, and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms of dengue, including high fever, body rashes, headache, and body aches, among others,” Dr Birendra Kumar, Jharkhand programme officer.
Kumar said that advisories were issued in response to the spread of vector-borne diseases after 24 new dengue cases and six chikungunya cases were detected across the state in the last 24 hours.
The latest report brought the total number of dengue cases to 1,086 from 914 and chikungunya cases to 249 from 243 in the state, Dr Kumar added.
“People have been advised to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites. They are advised to keep their bodies covered, clean water containers regularly, and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms of dengue, including high fever, body rashes, headache, and body aches, among others,” Dr Kumar said.
Dr Kumar added, “Civic authorities have been instructed to ensure the elimination of mosquito larvae, and if they encounter non-cooperation, they can take legal action, imposing fines ranging from ₹200 to Rs 5,000.”
He also mentioned that the government has made arrangements for free testing for dengue and chikungunya at its medical colleges, hospitals, and six district pathological laboratories.
However, a pathologist contradicted the government’s figures, stating that the actual number of cases is higher than the government’s report.
“The government is only sharing data available at government-run pathological centres, while data from private laboratories are not being collected properly. I remember collecting as many as 18 samples in the last seven days. Out of those, 12 tested positive for dengue. The figure is at least four times higher than what the government is reporting. The government has not reported any deaths, but four deaths have been reported from East Singhbhum alone,” said the pathologist, who works in a private laboratory, requesting anonymity.
A resident of Kokar in Ranchi supported the pathologist’s claim, saying that a tribal lady died of dengue in his locality.
When asked about this, Dr Kumar said, “The reported deaths so far were not solely due to dengue. The victims had other diseases as well.”
The officer further said that as the number of cases continues to rise, the civic body in the Jharkhand capital has swung into action. Ten teams of ten officials each have been deployed to control the disease.
An RMC official said that while three teams have been assigned to Hindpiri, the remaining seven have been deployed to other areas of the city. Awareness pamphlets are being distributed.
An RMC supervisor said that although the teams have been deployed, there is a shortage of materials to combat mosquito larvae. “While four sprayers are required in each of the 53 wards of Ranchi, only two to three are available in each ward. While 250 kg of bleaching powder is required per month in each ward, only 150 kg is being provided. The spray vehicle is required four days a week, but it is only provided two days a week,” the supervisor said.
When contacted, RMC administrator Ameet Kumar directed the question to health officer, Kiran Kumari, who could not be reached for comment.