Kolhapur on alert, 10 hepatitis cases found

Water department to plug leakages in supply pipes; civic body to keep a watch on hotels and hawkers.

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Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) has geared up to battle hepatitis, as 10 people suffering from the disease have been admitted to one of the hospitals here.

The KMC commissioner Vijayalaxmi Bidari said that there was no need to panic, and that the administration had undertaken various efforts in view of the hepatitis outbreak in Ichalkaranji town, where unofficial records have 10 people dead and 3,309 positive for hepatitis.

In the KMC-run Isolation Hospital, 10 patients of hepatitis have been admitted for treatment. Bidari said the water supply department has been asked to repair leakages in the water supply pipes immediately.

The water available in hotels and with hawkers will be tested, and if any contamination is found, their licences will be cancelled immediately. “We do not wish to trigger panic, though hotels and hawkers should behave responsibly, or we will take stern action,” she said.

Schools and colleges have also been asked to check their water quality. The KCM has appointed a team of 20 officers for checking water samples. “The control room has been set up at Savitribai Phule Hospital, while the treatment will be given at the Isolation Hospital,” she said.

In addition to this, 25,000 handbills for awareness on hepatitis and other waterborne diseases will be distributed in the city.
Two deaths had been reported in the city allegedly due to hepatitis in the last two days -- namely Sarita Dabhade (27) of Kasba Bawda on Saturday and Dhammapal Ratnakar (40) of Kadamwadi on Sunday.

“Dabhade died due to viral fever and Ratnakar due to pneumonia,” she said. Ratnakar was a well-known poet and was the secretary of the literary body Dakshin Maharashtra Sahitya Sabha.

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