Madurai: About 10 people are dying every day due to dengue and mysterious virus fevers in Tamil Nadu and over 25,000 are falling ill, the Madurai branch of the Madras high court was told. Seeking compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of each of the deceased, petitioner K. K. Ramesh from Madurai said that even while the situation was alarming, state government was suppressing the facts and not revealing the truth to the public. Even though this court had passed orders to take effective steps to prevent dengue fever, state government officials were not making serious efforts to control the spreading of aedes aegyptus, the mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya, zika fever, mayaro and yellow fever viruses, across Tamil Nadu.
The petitioner also claimed that the Central government was not extending a helping hand to state government, but remaining a silent spectator for the past three months. The situation is so alarming that many people in interior villagers affected by diseases were admitted in the hospital with nose bleeds, but there were no special wards to give proper treatment to them, he contended. For instance, a village near Thirumangalam taluk in Madurai was affected by a mysterious fever; four people died and 100 were admitted in various hospitals from Peraiyur village near Usilampatti. Thirty people died due to mosquito fever in Ramanathapuram district, said Ramesh.
In such a circumstance, the Central government has also shifted the Centre for Research in Medical Entomology (CRME) from Madurai to Puducherry, though this was playing a decisive role in controlling vector-borne diseases including dengue. The ICMR that had been functioning more than 32 years in Madurai, had done path breaking research using modern biological technologies and developed strategies to control vector borne diseases in all of India. For instance, the centre had demonstrated community involvement in successful dengue control and described JE virus infection in 17 different species of mosquitoes, said the petitioner. Recording the submission, Justices M. Venugopal and Abdul Quddhose issued notices to the principal secretary, ministry of health, New Delhi and principal secretary, department of health, Tamil Nadu, and posted the next hearing to October 24.