Bhubneshwar (Odisha) [India], Nov.3 : Expressing his grief and concern over the rising number of deaths of children due to Japanese Encephalitis in Odisha's Malkangiri district, former union minister Srikant Jena has said that the Navin Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal state government has completely failed to contain the spread of the vector-borne disease.
Jena told ANI, "The situation is very alarming. For the past two months, four to five children are dying and the chief minister is moving around the state for panchayat elections.
He has no time to oversee the situation. Can you believe that in this country we don't have a vaccine to prevent this?" On the Sum Hospital catching fire and claiming the lives of 22 people, Jena said that the compensation given to the bereaved families was poor.
"Is the tribal life less than others? This kind of discrimination, apathy and attitude by the state and centre is condemnable and is a criminal offence.
I demand that immediate compensation be given and preventive and proactive steps must be taken," he added.
The Japanese Encephalitis death toll in Odisha's Malkangiri district has climbed to over 80. Discussions are being held with national-level experts on control measures and vaccination drives to be taken.
The deadly disease originates from pigs and spreads to humans, mostly children, through mosquitoes. Symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis include fever, nausea and fatigue..