Restrictions have been imposed with effect from May 17 this year on the sale of edible common salt for direct human consumption unless it is iodised, Government said today.
Common salt may, however, be sold for iodization, iron fortification, animal use, preservation, manufacturing medicine and industrial use, Minister of State for Health Panabaka Lakshmi said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
She said as per surveys conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services, Indian Council of Medical Research, state Health Directrorates and Health Institutions out of 324 districts surveyed covering all the state/UTs, 263 were found to be endemic where the prevalence of Iodine Deficiency disorders is more than 10 per cent.
Thus no state/UTs is free from Iodine Deficient Disorder, Laxmi said and added that, therefore, no part of the country was excluded from the above mentioned restrictions.
Replying to a questions on the increasing number of cancer patients in the country, Lakshmi said that there an estimated seven to nine lakh new cancer patients in the country, which does not indicate any "significant" increase.
The Health Minister said that five expert groups have been set up by the Government on 29th Sept, 2005 to study the population profile of the states of Bihar, U.P., Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa and to suggest measures to be taken to improve their health and demographic status.
She admitted that virus of Chikungunya disease has spread in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.