Kerala government orders cleanliness drive to check spread of communicable diseases

The minister called for properly carrying out of cleaning activities and ensuring sanitation in accordance with the Kerala Public Health Act.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 18, 2024 | 3:05 PM Updated May 18, 2024 | 3:05 PM

Medical negligence in Kerala

The Kerala government on Friday, 17 May, issued a slew of directions, especially on ensuring cleanliness, to prevent the spread of communicable diseases like dengue, leptospirosis, and jaundice which are likely to occur during the coming rainy season in the state.

State Health Minister Veena George said that with the advent of summer rains after the weeks-long heatwave, there was a heightened risk of occurrence of communicable diseases in Kerala.

“Cleanliness is most important. Maintaining proper hygiene and keeping our homes and surroundings clean is very important,” she said.

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Directives as per Kerala Public Health Act

The minister called for properly carrying out cleaning activities and ensuring sanitation in public accommodations and hostels, according to the Kerala Public Health Act.

“Wells and drinking water sources should be cleaned. Ensure that water in schools is clean. The treatment protocols should be strictly followed,” were some of the directions issued by her in a high-level meeting of the districts held in Thiruvananthapuram, the statement said.

“Directions have been issued for carrying out proper cleaning activities in the state on 18 and 19 May,” she added.

She also directed that hospitals should assess their drug stock and ensure availability of medicines.

The minister also said the hospitals should inform the government before the drug stock falls below 30 percent, a statement issued by her office said.

Chlorinating water sources regularly to prevent the spread of jaundice, strengthening awareness activities, listing out dengue hotspots, and carrying out the eradication of mosquito breeding grounds were some of the other directives given by the minister.

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Precautions ahead of rainy season

She said that jaundice was reported in Ernakulam, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kannur, Pathanamthitta and Palakkad districts. In all cases, it unclean water was responsible.

“Therefore, all drinking water sources in affected areas have been instructed to be chlorinated. Drink only boiled water. Sick people should rest well,” she directed.

George also said that during the rainy season, there was an increased risk of getting infected with leptospirosis, especially for those working in fields or gardens and those who come into contact with contaminated water.

She recommended that all such persons should take Doxycycline to prevent leptospirosis infection.

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Communicable disease cases tally in May

The minister also said that there were 10 confirmed cases of the West Nile disease in the state. No deaths have been reported.

She also claimed there was a reduction in the cases of dengue and leptospirosis in the state.

Till 16 May, there have been 84 leptospirosis cases, with seven cases reported on 16 May, while in 2024, 744 cases and 41 deaths were reported.

Apart from the confirmed, 57 cases and two deaths were also suspected.

Other diseases:

  • Fever: 90,995 cases with 6,075 cases reported on 16 May; In 2024, 8,74,926 cases and three deaths were reported.
  • Dengue: 415 dengue cases with 35 cases reported on 16 May; In 2024, 5,013 cases and 16 deaths were reported. Apart from the confirmed cases, 1,431 cases and four deaths were also suspected.
  • Hepatitis A: 336 cases with 16 cases reported on 16 May; In 2024, 2,048 cases and 15 deaths were reported. Apart from the confirmed, 781 cases and one death were also suspected.
  • Chickenpox: 1,110 cases with 67 cases reported on 16 May; In 2024, 11,567 cases and 10 deaths were reported.

(With PTI inputs)