On a day Kolkata reported yet another dengue death and stung by Opposition criticism that the government wasn’t doing enough, chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the health minister, finally emerged on the scene on Tuesday with a list of do's and don’ts, but did not reveal anything about her plans to contain the disease which has now acquired the dimensions of an epidemic.
Stop dieting and the dengue virus won’t be able to get the better of you, ‘Doctor’ Mamata Banerjee prescribed, disseminating information on hygiene, sanitisation, diet, medicines and even lifestyle to beat the virus.
Speaking for about 45 minutes, the chief minister even argued that dengue had taken more menacing forms in such states as Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra and Maharastra. All these states had suffered more deaths than Bengal, she claimed. “As many as 6,273 people contracted dengue in 2005 (during Left Front rule),” she said.
Significantly, after the chief minister’s speech, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) did not release the White Paper on dengue that it had promised.
The chief minister also asked doctors not to label everyone with fever a dengue case and asked private hospitals not to make a quick buck out of the panicky citizens.
“Many people are dieting nowadays. I request my young brothers and sister to stop dieting. Eat well. You need body resistance to fight diseases like dengue,” she said. Also on her prescription was advice to drink more water with sugar and salt. This, she said, was a must for even diabetic patients.