Child dies of fever in North Bengal's Jalpaiguri, says report; 130 in hospital
North Bengal is grappling with increasing cases of viral fever among children. Jalpaiguri has been the epicentre, with majority of the cases being reported from the district.
Hindustan Times' sister publication HT Bangla reported that a six-year-old died due to fever. It quoted doctors as saying that the young one was brought from Mekhliganj on Monday and reported breathing difficulty along with symptoms of pneumonia.
At least 130 children has been admitted to Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital with high fever and dysentery, a health department official said on Monday.
The development came amid warning by experts that the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic might pose a greater risk to children.
"We are keeping a tab on the situation and trying to develop the hospital's infrastructure so that no one is denied admission. The situation is quite worrisome," the official told news agency PTI.
Two of these children were later shifted to North Bengal Medical College as their condition worsened, the official further said.
District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu, who also visited the hospital, held back-to-back meetings with authorities to assess the situation and find a way ahead.
Meanwhile, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Monday wrote to all states and union territories (UTs) for accelerating activities for prevention and control of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and calling for sustained efforts to reduce the vector density to control these diseases.
He emphasised that rapid response teams should be kept ready with all necessary logistics. "Entomological surveillance, source reduction activities and prompt vector control measures must be implemented for minimising the risk of transmission," Bhushan said in his letter.
The Union Health Secretary also said that a multi-sectoral approach is necessary for controlling the vector-borne diseases. The role of departments other than health, such as urban and rural development and panchayati raj, is crucial, said the Union health secretary.