AGARTALA, July 16 � Malaria continues to stalk tribal- dominated areas in Tripura after four new deaths were reported during the past 24 hours taking the total death toll to 69 since June 13.
Despite all precautionary measures, Puspa Rupini (40) of Champaknagar area in West Tripura district died of malaria on Tuesday, said Director of Family Welfare and Preventive Medicine Dr KL Bhowmik here.
Today, a total of 5,575 fever patients turned up at government hospitals, of whom 921 were diagnosed with malaria. In the past 24 hours, 983 fever patients have been admitted in the hospital, of whom 423 are PF patients.
Dr Bhowimik said, altogether 1,79,659 fever patients turned up at government hospitals since June 17. Out of these, 31,378 malaria cases were detected. According to the reports, almost all the districts of the State are severely affected by the malaria outbreak which is unprecedented in the recent past.
�We are following the prescribed treatment protocol even after release of patients from the government hospitals. Health Minister Badal Chowdhury himself is visiting the government hospitals to supervise the special drive against the malaria outbreak�, he said.
Dr Bhowmik said the Minister held a meeting at Belonia in South Tripura district to review the situation arising out of the malaria outbreak. In the meeting, he clearly instructed the officials to tackle the situation on war footing.
According to experts, DDT spray was stopped since long even in the malaria prone areas which might have propelled a favourable atmosphere for mosquito breeding in the vulnerable pockets. �A few spell of showers has helped mosquitoes to increase their numbers. Having learnt a lesson, the government has already ordered spraying of DDT which seems a very late effort�, said a senior physician who spent a considerable time in malaria prone areas.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) has demanded to declare the entire Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) area as malaria epidemic zone and provide compensation to the families of malaria victims.