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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 12 October: AS dengue and other viral fever continue to spread in the state in near epidemic proportion, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today chose to draw comparison with other states to underscore that the situation is much better in Bengal.

Banerjee, who additionally holds the health minister’s portfolio, also blamed private laboratories and healthcare facilities of giving out “false reports” for commercial gains.

This comes on a day several news dailies in the state published reports of people leaving houses at Deganga in North 24-Parganas over dengue fever in the past few days. Also, large number of dengue cases is being reported from the suburbs of Kolkata and from Siliguri in north Bengal.

“Private labs are diagnosing fever as dengue without proper tests. Only NS1 and MAC Elisa tests are valid for dengue,” she told a Press conference at Nabanna after holding meeting state health department officials this afternoon. “As regards Deganga, no dengue deaths have taken place there in the recent times and the report that people are deserting their houses in fear is wrong.”

“In the past eight months, only around 30 deaths have taken place in Bengal due to dengue or some undiagnosed fever. If you refer to other states, 141 people have died of fever in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), 40 died in Tamil Nadu, 21 died in Delhi, and 437 people died of swine flu in Maharashtra during the period,” the Chief Minister said.

She claimed that in past 7-8 months, only two deaths have taken place at Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) due to dengue. “But there are a host of Central government offices in the area and marinating cleanliness in such premises is Centre’s responsibility.”

Banerjee claimed that the dengue situation in Bengal was not at in a worrying level and underscored that fever and enteric diseases do surface at this time of the year. “I urge people to be cautious and take care of themselves. True some civic bodies in the state are not doing their bit to pre-empt spread of dengue, but we are prodding them.”