One thing is starkly clear that Sihora village in Payal tehsil is in the grip of gastroenteritis, even as there are difference of opinion among the officials and the villagers over the deaths due to the epidemic. Officials claim that a woman has died due to gastroenteritis, while villagers say four lives have been lost to the epidemic in three days.
Sensing the severity of the situation, deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal and civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta visited the village on Sunday. As many as 25 patients are under treatment at the community health centre, Payal, while more than 250 others were reported to be suffering from mild diarrhoea in the village. Four seriously ill patients were referred to Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, on Saturday and three of them were discharged on Sunday morning.
Supply of contaminated water to the village is being see as the cause behind the spread of the disease. Sarpanch of Sihora Village Shaminder Singh said, “The cases of vomiting and diarrhoea came into our notice on July 3 and after that situation became worse. There are nearly 400 families in village, which got affected. Four deaths, including a 8-dayold baby and three women aged 65, 70 and 85 years have died of diarrhoea.”
But civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said that only one death that of a 65-year-old woman had taken place due to diarrhoea in the village. Rest of the deaths in the village took place for some other reasons. He said that doctors’ teams had been sent to the spot on Saturday evening immediately after the outbreak came to the notice. Samples of stool and water were also being collected from the village by the health department to know the exact cause of illness.
Dr JP Singh, senior medical officer (SMO) CHC, Payal, said, “More than 100 patients came to the OPD on Saturday and nearly 150 patients came to the OPD on Sunday .” He said that more beds had been arranged in the hospital to handle the situation.
Deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal took stock of the situation and ordered the health and water supply department officials to be present in the village till the time disease was under control. He talked to the people in the village and assured them that district administration would provide all the help to them to fight with epidemic.
He ordered the health department to provide free medicines and bring patients to the hospital from their houses. Three water tankers were also made available at the village on the orders of deputy commissioner.
As many as 30 illegal water connections were disconnected by the department and checking for the leakage in water pipes was in full swing after DC orders. Two 108 Ambulance were also deputed in the village to deal with any emergency.