Tension gripped Arunachal's East Kameng and Tirap districts as Endemic malaria claimed 17 more lives in last one month, taking the toll to 85 throughout the state this year.
While 15 deaths have been reported from Pakke-Kessang sub-division in East Kameng district, two students died in Deomali under Tirap district last month.
The districtwise malaria related deaths recorded so far this year was 25 in East Kameng, 31 in Papum Pare and 29 in Tirap.
The Pakke-Kessang Intellectual Forum (PKIF), in a release claimed, that panic gripped the area after 15 people lost their lives, while ten serious patients were evacuated to various hospitals in the Capital Complex. Longpung, Kheko, Seramaso and Khodaso were the worst affected villages in the sub-division.
Confirming the deaths, sources at the health department informed that non-availability of medicines coupled with people's ignorance were the main causes of the catasthrophe.
Tirap district legislator Wangki Lowang said, "Deomali, Namsang and Auguri Pathar villages under Deomali sub-division of the district were badly affected as killer malaria has turned into an epidemic."
The MLA, who paid a surprise visit to the Deomali primary health centre yesterday, neither found doctors nor any medicine at the said hospital. Although a homeopathic doctor, besides two lady medical officers were officially posted there, none were found.