Sunday, February 25, 2018
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swine flu


Allahabad is among the five districts of UP which have been alerted against the Swine Flu threat. This disease has assumed epidemic form in Rajasthan and in Delhi the number of cases has crossed the 400 mark. We in Allahabad cannot afford to take the matter lightly. A report from the Mela area indicates that people with flu-like symptoms are reporting at various health centres. These may not be cases of swine flu but because a large number of them are also stated to be suffering from breathing trouble, which is one of the symptoms accompanying swine flu, our medical authorities will have to act fast. As we know, pilgrims have come from all over India. Many might have come from Rajasthan and Delhi .Whether some of them have brought the virus to the Mela city cannot be said. But the apprehension in this regard cannot be ruled out. Hence precaution at top gear is the only answer to prevent  Allahabad from turning into another swine-flu epidemic centre.

The State Government has alerted the districts all right but  are the districts being supplied Testing Kits even if protection kits are being despatched? In Lucknow, the medical College has the testing facility but not the SGPGI.What is urgently required in the Mela area is  some speedy and prompt action by the the sanitation department.  Some of the Kalpvasis, who decided to quit the Mela before time are said to have remarked: ‘How can we live in this stench?’ Kedar Nath Jha, who was camping here in Sector 9  with his wife, and is a retired Government teacher of Bihar says that the tents are ruined, power supply has become erratic, and getting even basic items like firewood or kerosene  is difficult. There were 500 others who were ‘Kalpvasing’ in the area but almost 400 of them had left because their tents got swamped by knee-deep water. Some 100 persons were still there though.

Some who have preferred to complete the full Kalpvas period were facing real threat from epidemics  as women folk were seen washing utensils  barely a few feet from the row of temporary toilets overflowing with unmentionable matter. According to Mr Jha, women are forced to answer the call of nature in the open—something unimaginable for those leading a sheltered life.

In another Kalpvasi camp in Sector 7, one third of the 1,500 kalpvasis had already left. The area is waterlogged .A  pilgrim camping in Sangam Lower Road in Sector 9 has been quoted as saying that ‘Books worth about eight lakh rupees have been damaged by water that flooded the camps.’

Water was being pumped out fast but the wet weather , aggravated by the insanitary conditions, may push up the fever cases. Weather forecast is gloomy. We may get more heavy showers.  Whatever precautions are to be taken in ordinary circumstances hardly seem to have been followed.  One hopes that the local civic authorities will swing into action and channelize all their energies to disinfect the area so that people do not have to bear the stench .

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