As malaria cases rise, the blame game goes on | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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As malaria cases rise, the blame game goes on

mumbai Updated: Aug 03, 2010 01:14 IST
HT Correspondent

While civic hospitals continue to accommodate the rising number of patients affected by malaria on hospital floors, politicians are busy passing the buck and trading charges against each other.

Mumbai has recorded 19 malaria deaths and 17,138 positive cases since July 1.

Health Minister Suresh Shetty was busy pointing fingers at the civic body led by the Shiv Sena and the civic corporators slammed the administration for their failure on Monday.

“I have time and again told the BMC to implement malaria prevention measures in an appropriate manner. Now we are hoping the line of action given by the central team is implemented well by them so that things get settled in 8-10 days,” said Shetty who has been receiving progress reports from the BMC every day.

On the other hand, Shiv Sena leader of the house Sunil Prabhu, said: “Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya and Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar in-charge of the health department should go back to their previous posting, as they are not doing their current job well.”

He said there was a severe deficiency of staff, nurses, doctors and the needed infrastructure to curb the epidemic, and there was a backlog of 45,000 blood samples.

Sena Corporator Prabhakar Shinde alleged the vehicle mounted fogging machines are not being used, as the RTO has not given permission to BMC for the same.

“Is it so difficult for the IAS officers running the civic body to get permission from the RTO?” Shinde questioned.

Outside the guarded fortresses, Congress MP Priya Dutt was seen raising her voice against MNS Chief Raj Thackeray’s comments on Sunday. He had said that migrants were responsible for the spread of malaria as they flooded the hospitals leaving no space for patients from the state.

“This is not a scientific explanation about the spread of malaria. The mosquitoes are not selective about whom they bite or don’t. His comments make a mockery of the whole thing,” she said.

Dutt said the government hospitals lacked proper treatment facilities to deal with the crisis. “The problem is to be attributed to the municipal corporation for the difficulties faced by the people. Action has to be taken. It is a serious matter.”

Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya had to take all the criticism.

“From tomorrow all civic officials including me will be a part of the malaria mitigation campaign. We will investigate why there is an upswing in the cases of malaria and take necessary steps to curb it. All other queries raised by the corporators will also be answered,” said Kshtariya.