Twenty-one people have died due to Japanese Encephalitis outbreak in Assam, which has reported 69 cases of the disease, a senior official of the Union Health Ministry said Monday after a central team reviewed the situation here.
"There are two crucial months to come -- July and August. The challenge would be to contain the outbreak to the minimum in the next two months," Additional Secretary Sanjeev Kumar, who led the four-member central team, said.
After a review meeting with the state health department officials in Guwahati, Kumar told waiting for journalists that the state health department is "very" active and things are "under control".
"We have reviewed the situation with health department officials of the state. So far 21 deaths have taken place out of the 69 reported cases of JE. I also reviewed the immunisation status which is vital to the prevention of incidence of JE," he said.
"We are chalking out the strategy this month to contain the spread of the disease in these two months when the highest number of cases are registered," Kumar added.
The four-member central team, including senior officials from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, visited the state to take stock of the situation on the instructions of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Principal Secretary, Assam Health and Family Welfare Department, Samir K Sinha, said, "We have earmarked certain beds in the ICUs for patients suffering from JE to ensure they get prompt medical treatment."
Joint Director Health Services, malaria, U Fangso said most of the upper Assam districts, including Jorhat, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, and lower Assam district of Kamrup were affected by the mosquito-borne disease.
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