The Central team led by Dr. Vidya Arankalle of National Institute of Virology, Pune, has blamed contaminated water for the jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur, which claimed 17 lives and affected around 1,956 people so far. The team’s visit came two days after Odisha CM reviewed the situation in Sambalpur and announced a package of Rs 100 crore to improve water supply and sanitation in the district.
The central team visited Sambalpur to review the situation at the behest of Union Health Minister JP Nadda following the intervention of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. The team will submit its report to the Odisha Government today along with its suggestion to improve the situation in the region.
The central team took samples from Mahanadi river and other sources for further examination. They will also study the past cases of Hepatitis-A and Hepatitis-E in Sambalpur. They stressed on the need for supply of safe drinking water and hygienic conditions everywhere and asked the government to prevent open defecation. According to Dr. Vidya Arankalle, prevention is always better to combat jaundice menace, as there is no anti-viral treatment for it.
The team held discussion with Sambalpur Collector Balwant Singh, Joint Director, Public Health, Bikash Patnaik and CDMO Dr. Jagatkrushna Samantray. Other members of the team were Dr. Prannay Verma of National Centre for Disease Control and Dr. Manju of Indian Council of Medical Research.