Kerala seeks army help to tackle outbreak of fever


Thiruvananthapuram : The Kerala government has sought help of army personnel who will coordinate with the state's health service to control further spread of chikungunya viral fever that has so far claimed 36 lives, besides leaving nearly 100,000 affected.

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"A team of army officials and a team from the Cochin Naval Base have already begun their work and we are expecting more teams to begin work tomorrow. They would be engaged in fogging activities and also in providing basic health care to the affected districts," said Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters here Saturday after an all-party meeting held to discuss the fever in the state.

On Friday, state Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi spoke to Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony who agreed to provide the services of the armed forces to the state.

Reports indicate that army units from Chennai, Hyderabhad and Secunderabad are expected to arrive Sunday to augment the existing health care facilities in the state and also to conduct fogging in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts.

Meanwhile, one fever-related death was reported in Kozhikode on Saturday.

Reports indicate that more than 100,000 people have been affected with south and central districts being the worst affected.

Achuthanandan also confirmed that about 7,000 people have been affected with mosquito-borne chikungunya fever. In order to contain it, an all-party meeting here – also attended by the Congress-led opposition – assured to provide support for a massive cleaning operation.

"It has been decided that a weeklong cleaning campaign programme across the state would be launched on June 12 and all political parties, social organisations, National Cadet Corps, scouts and guides would participate," said the chief minister.