Diseases hit thousands as Orissa’s flood toll rises to 50

September 25th, 2008 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 25 (IANS) Thousands of people in Orissa are now suffering from water borne diseases due to the floods that have devastated large part of the state, with the death toll Thursday rising to 50 after two more deaths were reported.Floods in the Mahanadi river and its tributaries following incessant rains have affected about four million people and the situation continued to be grim in some areas Thursday, officials said.

The four worst affected districts are Puri, Cuttack, Jagatsingpur and Kendrapada. The situation is still grim in Puri, Cuttack and Kendrapada.

Large numbers of people are coming to medical camps, government and private hospitals and complaining of diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections, fever and skin ailments, a state health official told IANS.

“We have treated about 17,868 patients over the past five days and 6,284 were treated Wednesday alone,” Kashinath Nayak, chief district medical officer of Kendrapada district said.

“We have treated at least 476 people suffering from diarrhoea and 212 cases of dysentery,” Nayak said.

“We have deputed a large number of doctors who are camping with medicines in the affected areas,” state revenue Secretary G.V. Venugopala Sarma told IANS, adding that there was no epidemic yet.

“Nobody has died of water borne disease during the floods and it has not taken any epidemic form. The cases reported are sporadic,” Sarma said.

Officials said that relief operations have been stepped up and relief and rescue officials have reached all the 827 villages which were marooned earlier.

Over 1,000 personnel including navy and paramilitary troopers continued relief and rescue operations Thursday in the affected areas with three Air Force helicopters dropping food packets.

“The droppings of food, water and medicines will continue for the next three days,” a senior state government official said.

Many victims however said they have not received any relief, while some said the relief they had received was inadequate. According to a preliminary estimate by the state government, the losses from the floods would be over Rs.24 billion.

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