At least nine people have died and several have been hospitalised after an outbreak of malaria in Rajashthan's Bikaner city on Saturday.
Heavy rainfall has led to an accumulation of water in different parts of city, which in turn have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
"So far there have been nine deaths out of which two deaths were due to malaria, and the others were suffering from ailments other than malaria as well. So, we are working on war-scale. Out of our 1,900 employees, we have allocated the work of conducting surveys and samples to about a 1,000 of them," said K. K. Garg, Chief Medical Officer of a hospital.
Relatives of malaria patients expressed their disappointment with the administrative authorities over their inability to control the situation.
"Due to the rains, our entire city is dirty and stinking as a result of which there is an increase of malaria patients. The administration is paying no attention in this regard. A lot of people have died so far but the administration is still acting like a mute spectator. Nobody is getting activated, nor any medicines are being sprayed," said Ram Kumar, relative of a malaria patient.
Meanwhile the city administration has defended itself by saying they have been actively making efforts to control the outbreak.
"From the past two-three months, we are making our teams both in rural as well as city areas, which go to a specific area and perform anti-larval activities like pouring burnt oil in places which have accumulation of water," said Suresh, a Municipal Corporation official.