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Friday, August 01, 2014  

Bihar scrambles for fogging machines to fight dengue
PATNA Dengue has already afflicted 1,150 people in Bihar this year, and it threatens to become an epidemic. Even so, the level of preparedness of the authorities is dismal, only one of the four fogging machines in the state capital works.

Bihar Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey, however, said on Wednesday that there was no need to panic, and that the health department was taking measures to control the spread of dengue. He said the state would buy new fogging machines, and acknowledged that three of the four machines in Patna do not work.

The one machine that works is in high demand in the VIP areas, and services the 29 municipal wards of Patna. An official of the Patna Municipal Corporation, requesting anonymity, said that Patna alone needs at least six such machines.

In Patna alone, as many as 313 cases of dengue have been confirmed by the health department. Bhagalpur district reported 232 cases. “People suffering from dengue have been admitted to government and private hospitals,” Rajendra Prasad Ojha, a health department official, said.

Till date this year, dengue has claimed two lives in Samastipur district. Unconfirmed reports, however, said that the toll due to dengue is much higher in various parts of the state.

Choubey did not indicate how many new machines would arrive, but said that they would be available next week. “The health department will issue tenders for buying machines,” he said.

Agencies
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