Google Says You Can’t Die From Chikungunya: Health Minister

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New Delhi: Delhi’s Health Minister, Satyendra Jain, relies on Dr Google, it appears. He reiterated on Thursday that chikungunya cannot cause deaths because Google told him so.

That’s why Delhiites need not panic, he remarked to mediapersons here. All people need to do is to take precautions and go to the hospital, but that too, only if they experience symptoms of the vector-borne disease, Jain said.

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“People of Delhi have no need to panic. The state government is ready to provide help at all cost. But one should get admitted only if the doctor advises them to do so and not because they are scared,” he said.

Four of the five supposed chikunguniya deaths were reported from the same hospital, which seems suspicious, Jain said. “Chikungunya deaths are not happening across the world. Why is it only in a select few Delhi hospitals? And upon enquiry, I have discovered that most of the deaths are of people who were aged and already sick with other ailments,” the minister added.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda too said that no complaints of shortage of medicine or doctors and testing facilities have been reported. The Centre is fully prepared to tackle the crisis, he added.

Nadda said the Centre has held a review meeting about the situation in Delhi and found out that there is an increase in cases of chikungunya in Delhi, whereas the hike in cases of dengue have been reported from West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka.

Meanwhile, some people in West Bengal have tested positive for malaria as well. “We today held a review meeting in regard with the upsurge of vector borne diseases. In Delhi, an increase in cases of chikungunya has been reported, and meanwhile, large number of cases of fever has been reported. In West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka, cases of dengue have been reported. In West Bengal, cases of malaria have been reported”, Nadda said.

The Centre has also held three video conferences in this regard, and added that he had also called on the Delhi Health Minister, the NDMC and the MCD, and guided them on protocols to be followed to counter the spread of this disease.

“In one video conference, I addressed the state Health Ministers. The second was addressed by the Secretary and the third was done by heads of vector borne diseases,” he said. Nadda also urged the people not to panic and help in pacifying the current upsurge of vector borne diseases.

Dr D S Rana, the chairperson of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said, “Have just received an e-mail from the Government of India that deaths reported in the Ganga Ram Hospital of chikungunya positive patients should be probed a little more and information should be given to them.”

By and large the message is very clear that chikungunya is not a very fatal disease, people should not get frightened. Hospitals are doing their best, be it government or private,” he added.

 

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