With nearly 30,000 people in south and central districts of Kerala hospitalised with chikungunya fever, an infection spread by the Aedes mosquito, the state has decided to seek help from the central government.
Reports from Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts indicate that around 40 people have died of high fever in the last three weeks.
"We have decided to call an all party meeting on Friday to discuss this issue and June 12 will be observed as cleanliness day across the state," Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters after the weekly cabinet meet here Wednesday.
The reason for the spread of chikungunya has been cited to be poor waste management facilities at the famed temple in Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta, where the peak season ended in January.
Over 25 people have died due of high-fever in Pathanamthitta alone in the last three weeks.
The state government has asked private hospitals to open special wards for patients suffering from fever.
The Kerala Government Medical Officers Association has also decided to extend their normal working hours given the seriousness of the situation.
A central government team had visited the affected districts last week and Kerala hopes to get additional funds to control the spread of the fever.
Funds are also required to launch a massive 'Clean Kerala' campaign on a regular basis.