The number of people who fell ill after allegedly consuming contaminated water in a dozen villages of Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur district rose to 535 on Sunday. People from villages, including Banh, Jandgi Gujran, Jandali Rajputan, Panyala, Pathiyalu, Niyati, Rangas Chowki Haar, Thain and Sankar have been affected by the outbreak of water-borne diseases. Rajeev Kumar, the head of Rangas panchayat, had earlier in the day said the number of people taken ill crossed 300. Some patients have been referred to hospitals in Hamirpur.
Two to three people in every household have fallen ill after consuming contaminated water provided by the Jal Shakti department, said Kumar. It is believed that the high amount of bacteria in the water is causing the illness,Kumar stated further. Villagers said the water was supplied without being filtered from an under-construction tank, causing the outbreak.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has directed the district administration and the Health department to take proper care of the patients and ensure that there is no shortage of medicines. At present the health department teams are providing treatment to the patients. The CM has also sought a complete report from state- and district-level agencies on the matter.
Officials from the Jal Shakti department have stopped water supply to the affected villages after the incident. However bottled water is being distributed among the people. Giving out his statement on the present situation in Hamirpur, Deputy Commissioner of police, Debasweta Banik said essential medicines, ORS packets, chlorine tablets and other materials were delivered to the villages through doctors, health and Asha workers.
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