Amid pandemic, vector-borne diseases worry Kerala as monsoon breaks
The monsoon brings in a lot of diseases like dengue, leptospirosis, H1N1, chikungunya and other ailments in Kerala.Updated: Jun 01, 2020 18:33 IST
Monsoon clouds have made Johnson, a cobbler who also repairs umbrellas sitting outside the Kerala secretariat, happy. Usually he works till 8 pm but he leaves his makeshift tent by afternoon these days for lack of customers. But his hopes have soared as the monsoon hit Kerala on Monday.
“Usually people flood me with old umbrellas, school bags and shoes. I used to repair 40-50 umbrellas a day. With no children or school around I hardly get five to six a day. But these clouds come with a silver lining,” he said.
Farmers are also happy at the monsoon arriving on time. “It heralds a fresh beginning,” said a farmer tilling a leased agricultural plot for plantain cultivation in Vellayani on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram.
The build-up was quite visible on Sunday itself as thunder and lightning accompanied early drizzles. Usually people come out in large numbers to drench themselves in the first monsoon rain but the Covid-19 pandemic kept most people indoors.
While the monsoon’s timely arrival has been welcome, it has also added to the worries of the government which is busy fighting the pandemic. Usually monsoon brings in a lot of diseases like dengue, leptospirosis, H1N1, chikungunya and other ailments. The government has revised the fever protocol and made covid-19 tests mandatory for all cold-related diseases.
“We know the situation is tricky. That is why we started cleanliness drive much early this time. What we need is care, not panic. Since people are really conscious this time we are not expecting much load of the monsoon-related viral ailments,” said State health minister K K Shailaja.
She also said the ongoing pandemic fight will not affect the state’s preparedness to tackle other diseases. Every year vector-borne diseases claim many lives in the state.
Fearing covid-infection many people dread to frequent hospitals these days and some resort to self-treatment also. But medical experts have warned not to take medicines without advice. Like online education, tele-medicine has also become active these days.
The state is doubly cautious this time as it witnessed two consecutive floods in the last two years.In 2018 , torrential rains had filled 40-odd dams forcing authorities to open sluice gates of many that submerged many areas in the flood of the century. In the last two years the state had received at least 40 % more rain than usual. State Dam Safety Authority chairman Justice R Ramachandran Nair said water level in all major dams was in control