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Workers at Commonwealth Games Village Down With Meningitis

by VR Sreeraman on  March 5, 2008 at 2:15 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
Several construction labourers at a site for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi have been hit by meningitis, a doctor said Tuesday, amid reports that the disease had created panic.

Hundreds of people are working at the sports village that will house athletes during the event.
Workers at Commonwealth Games Village Down With Meningitis
Workers at Commonwealth Games Village Down With Meningitis
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"Nine workers from the site had been brought to our hospital with simple meningitis in the past 20 days," said V.R Sood, medical superintendent at the city's Bimla Devi hospital, which is close to the construction site.

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The doctor said all the workers had been treated for the disease, which can be fatal. None have died, the doctor said.

The health department of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi declined to comment, saying it was studying reports of an outbreak.

Meningitis struck more than 180 people in New Delhi two years ago, while this year more than a hundred cases have been reported, the Hindustan Times newspaper said.

Access to the construction site on the banks of the city's polluted Yamuna River is prohibited.

About a dozen construction workers brought in Monday to work on the site were crammed under tiny cloth tents near the proposed athletes village.

"It's hot here, but what to do?" said Mushtaqeem. "They have told us we will be given proper housing in a few days."

The Hindustan Times reported that migrant workers were living under unhygienic conditions.

Residents and activists living around the area said they had heard of an outbreak and that workers had started to flee in panic.

The outbreak is the latest setback to hit the project, which is already facing stiff opposition from green groups because it is built on the Yamuna flood plain.

Conservationists have also hit out at other projects, including a planned underground train line, which would be dug close to a medieval tomb.

And last month, members of New Delhi's architecture watchdog quit in protest over the government's handling of the facilities.

The Commonwealth Games Village will be spread over 11 hectares (28 acres) and built under a partnership between the government-run Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and private developer Emaar MGF Land.

A DDA official in charge of the project declined to comment.

Source: AFP
SRM/L
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