Kerala Floods: Woman dies of rat fever; death toll reaches 15

New Delhi, Sep 2 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 9/2/2018 12:26:57 PM IST

The death toll due to rat fever breakout in flood-hit Kerala reached 15 on Sunday after a woman became the latest victim of leptospirosis in the state, India TV reported. Officials at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital confirmed that the woman died on Sunday morning after she was infected with the disease that transmits from animals to humans. Eight people had lost their lives due to the fever in the past two days, as the risk of contaminating the disease increases during flooding. As on Sunday, 40 cases of leptospirosis were reported in the state. Kozhikode reported 28 such cases while the rest were from Alappuzha, Thrissur and Pathanamthitta.

Health Minister KK Shailaja assured that there was no need to panic.

“Every hospital is stocked with all the required medicines,” Shailaja said, adding that the health department had taken all necessary actions.

The minister also advised people of the flood-hit state to take precautions and a course of doxycycline.

A special isolation ward has been opened at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital, as the city reported the maximum number of leptospirosis cases.

According to Kerala health officials, around two million people in the state would have come in contact with the flood waters and hence preventive care should be taken by all. Elaborate arrangements had been made and medicines would be provided to all for free, said Industries Minister EP Jayarajan, the de facto number two in the government.

Minister warns of action 
A Kerala Minister on Sunday warned that strict action would be taken against the state government officials who were not making an objective assessment of the damages caused to houses by the recent floods.
With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leaving for medical treatment to the US, Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the de facto number two in the government, told the media that “very tough action” would be taken against erring officials.
“All complaints will be looked into and none will be spared,” he said. Kerala floods have claimed 483 lives and the estimated loss is more than the annual outlay of the state. Thousands of houses have been destroyed, while a greater number of homes have been damaged.
With the state government starting a massive fund collection drive to rebuild a ‘new Kerala’, besides announcing compensation to the losses suffered, the local bodies officials have begun estimation of the losses.
Jayarajan spoke tough when he was told about specific cases of officials overestimating the damages suffered to residential properties in Malappuram district.
The state government has also announced an interim relief of Rs 10,000 to every family that has suffered on account of floods.
“This money will be given to all and there is no rule that this money will be given to only who were in relief camps. Every family who suffered the floods... even if they remained in their homes would get this. Only those who say they do not want, will not be given,” said Revenue Secretary P.H. Kurien.

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