Shimla, Feb 24: Himachal Health and family welfare minister Kaul Singh today said that the jaundice outbreak in Shimla and adjoining areas has claimed ten lives so far and 1,500 cases have been reported but the disease was now under control.
He said that five persons died due to Hepatitis-E and the others were ailing from diseases like chronic lever and heart diseases, diabetics, asthma. Three persons died in Himachal while seven succumbed to disease in PGI, Chandigarh.
Terming the deaths due to jaundice as "unfortunate", Singh said that the disease spread due to supply of contaminated water from Ashwani Khud due to mixing of sewage but the supply of water from Ashwani khud was stopped immediately on January The minister said that was no laxity on the part of the Health department as ensuring supply of chlorinated water, fit for drinking purposes was primarily responsibility of Irrigation and Public health department and the Shimla Municipal Corporation was responsible for frequently testing the water samples being the sole distribution agency.
Action had already been taken and the contract of the sewerage plant, one Exen, two Assistant engineers, two Junior engineers and the supervisor have been arrested and sent to judicial custody, he said.
Refuting the claim of the BJP leaders that no development had taken place in the state during past three years, the Health minister said 60 primary health centres (PHCs) have been opened during past three years against 23 opened by BJP government in five years.
The BJP government did not provide staff for these new institutions but the present government sanctioned the staff simultaneously and as a result there is shortage of 600 doctors. The Centre has sanctioned five traumas for Himachal and the Level-1centre for IGMC would be set up Indus Hospital in PPP mode, Level 2 centre would come up at Tanda while three Level-3 centers would be at Rampur, Hamirpur and Mandi.
The minister informed that the Rotavirus vaccine would be launched in Himachal in the first phase and Rotavirus being highly contagious, the vaccine would reduce the death of children infected with other diseases. Hans Raj, Managing Director of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) said that four states Himachal, Haryana, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, would start administering oral rotavirus vaccines from next month onwards and the number of .
"Instead of eight vaccines, now the children would be administered nine vaccines to be administered to children would increase from eight to nine and soon injectible rotavirus vaccine would be available and people have dual option.