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Featured Image: Malay De in file photo.

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 24 October: MAMATA Banerjee-government today switched from denial mode to defensive mode as regards the spread of dengue in Bengal and maintained that the situation was not at all out of control as is being publicised by some section.

This comes a day after BJP demands whitepaper on Bengal dengue: fights police, burns Mamata effigy for failure to tackle the spread of dengue and alleged suppression of facts.

Bengal chief secretary Malaya De told a news conference at state secretariat Nabanna this afternoon that the allegation of government suppressing the number of dengue cases in the state was unfounded. He has blamed the spread of dengue to erratic weather.

“Until 4 pm Monday (23 October) this year, a total of 18,238 people have been inflicted by dengue and 34 have died of dengue. It is not true that the state government is suppressing facts as regards dengue; rather health department is sharing data with journalists every day,” De said.

He added that apart from the 34 deaths due to dengue, another 54 people have died so far this year due to vector-born fevers like swine flu and chikungunya. To back his claim that the situation was under control, De referred to figures from last year and from other states.

“Last year around 20,000 people in the state were inflicted by dengue. Further, if we refer to deaths caused by dengue or vector borne diseases in other states this year, its stands at ~ 685 in Maharashtra, 434 in Gujarat, 230 in Rajasthan, 165 in Uttar Pradesh, 111 in Kerala, and 120 in Tamil Nadu,” the chief secretary said.

De, who had been Bengal’s health secretary in the past, added that there has been a rise in Type 2 and Type 4 dengue cases in Bengal this year, but no Type 5 dengue has been reported yet.

He said that state government has issued instruction to all gram panchayats and civic bodies to take steps to impede the breeding of mosquitos, which are at the root cause of dengue.

Government and private healthcare facilities have been asked to report dengue cases to the state health department and treat such patients according to WHO guidelines.