Reports from the civic hospitals on Friday have indicated that eight more deaths from suspected leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, fever and other rain-related ailments, taking the death toll in the last 48 hours to 21.
Health officials have claimed that additional precautions have been taken in the seven wards most prone to such diseases, including Kurla and parts of Malad. The earlier reports by the BMC had said that there have been 40 deaths from diseases like gastroenteritis, leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, and viral fever, between July 5 and July 20.
The municipal hospitals in Mumbai, had explained that Malaria has been the biggest killer of all. It was also reported that the additional municipal commissioner and a dean of a medical college have both contracted the illness, having since recovered. The health officials have said that the recent heavy rainfall in areas like Parel, Andheri, Borivli, Saki Naka, Jogeshwari, Kurla, and Byculla and the consequent waterlogging have helped these diseases to thrive.
Jairaj Thanekar, the Executive Health Officer has said that only eight people had died between Wednesday and Thursday. He has however admitted that there have been more than 40 deaths in the last 15 days alone. He explained that malaria and viral fever, were more the cause for concern than the diseases like dengue, leptospirosis. He explained that doctors have already been dispatched to the slum and areas for the collection of samples.
Vijaysinh Patankar, the additional Municipal Commissioner, confirming the number of deaths, has accused the media of blowing the issue out of proportion. He said, "The media needs to be a little careful as Mumbaikars are already scared after the serial blasts. A look at the figures for July over the last five years will tell you that there is not much of a difference. This is a common feature at this time of the year and there is no need to panic."
Patankar further added that nearly 450 teams, each team consisting of two health officials have been treating the suspected cases in these wards in addition to another 900 health officials of the health department. It was reported that the BMC has also placed 162 health posts across the city to provide heath facilities in disease-prone areas.
The civic officials have said that there was no shortage of medicine or leptospirosis, dengue testing kits in civic hospitals. Mangal Mange, chairman, health committee said, "A stock of 300 testing kits is being maintained at all major hospitals. Our doctors are personally taking care of those in need of beds in the hospitals."