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Central team to assess malaria situation

AGARTALA, June 24 – Worried by the outbreak of malaria across Tripura, a three-member team of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare led by its addl director Abadhesh Kumar has arrived here to take stock of the situation, official sources said.

The Central team held a meeting with Mission Director of NRHM Dr Sandip K Mahatme and top officials of Health department to know the ground reality and remedial measures to check the malaria outbreak.

After the meeting, the team left for worst malaria affected areas like Chowmanu, Govindabari, Chailengtha, Gandacherra and Raishyabari in Dhalai district.

In the past 24 hours, three more children died of malaria at Ganganagar iin Gandacherra subdivision, one of the worst affected areas of the State. According to reports, as many as 3,213 fever patients have been admitted in government hospital with most of them malaria patients. In the past 24 hours, altogether 423 malaria patients have been admitted in government hospitals.

Officially, the death toll stood at 43 but it could touch 63 according to unconfirmed sources, triggering panic in tribal belts. Considering the seriousness of the outbreak, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has held a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and asked all the Ministers to personally supervise the situation of their jurisdiction.

The government has already decided to bring anti-malaria medicines from Kolkata on urgent basis to tackle the situation. Almost all the districts have been declared as drug-resistant which means second generation medicines are the only way to treat malaria patients in the State.

Special malaria detection kits are being distributed through MPW, ASHA and Anganwadi workers to help instant detection through blood testing. The Health department is reported to have laid stress on blood sample collection on a massive scale across the State to combat rising kill zone of the disease.

DDT spraying has been started across the State on a war-footing from Sunday and would continue for the next 15 days.