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Staff Correspondent, Ctg
Jaundice has reached to epidemic proportions at Halishahar Housing Estate area in the port city with at least 1000 persons, mostly children, suffering from the disease at present.
The dwellers of Halishahar area are passing their days amid fear of being attacked by the terrible disease.
A five-member team led by Civil Surgeon of Chottagram Dr Azizur Rahman Siddiki, has already found the presence of jaundice bacteria in water supplied to Halishahar.
Dr Aziz told the Baqngladesh Post: “We have formed an investigation team to find out the cause behind the spread of jaundice at epidemic proportions at Halishahar area. In primary investigation, bacteria of Jaundice have been found in water.”
Informing that the team inspected a number of household water tanks during a spot visit at Halishahar on Friday, he said, “We have also found garbage at the water tanks of maximum houses at Halishahar. We have directed the dwellers to clean the water tanks for safety.”
Dr Aziz, however, assured that there is nothing to be afraid of as the situation is ‘still under control’.
Despite measures taken by the administration to tackle the disease, the epidemic is spreading day by day, creating panic among the dwellers of this densely populated area.
According to sources at Civil Surgeon office, a total of 624 jaundice patients have been admitted so far to different hospitals under the police station. Besides, 228 more jaundice patients who are undergoing treatment at home have also been found.
But locals, however, claimed that the number of jaundice affected patients have crossed 1,000.
Mostafa Kamal, a dweller of Halishahar area, told The Bangladesh Post, “Now, Jaundice has reached to epidemic proportions in our locality, with one or two being attacked by the disease almost every day.”
Commenting on reasons behind such rapid spread of the disease at a certain residential area within a few weeks, several locals pointed their fingers at Chattagram Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA), the main body responsible for administering water supply, drainage and sanitation system in the country. They claimed that virus responsible for spreading jaundice has been found in WASA’s water.
Alleging that the water supplied by WASA is polluted; Nasrin Sultana, another dweller from Halishahar, said, “We use only WASA’s water. So, there is no doubt that the water was affected by jaundice virus.”
Meanwhile, Chattagram City Corporation (CCC) formed another three-member investigation team with CCC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Selim Akter, Deputy Civil Surgeon Dr Humayon Kabir and Assistant Engineer of WASA Mohammed Ifthekhar Ullah Mamun.
Dr Selim Akter said, “The water of WASA is not polluted. But, the reserve tanks were polluted and there were E Coli virus and Colaform. So, they need to purify the water with bleaching powders and necessary chemicals soon.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Chairman of Chattagram WASA Board Dr SM Najrul Islam, at a WASA board meeting, claimed that the water of Chattagram WASA is not polluted; rather the quality of water is very good.
He said, “Separate investigation teams formed with concerned experts have already investigated the matter. They found the e virus in the tanks and tapes of the houses. The main line water supply of WASA is normal and pollution free.”
“So, the city dwellers should not be afraid about the water of WASA,” he assured.
Managing Director of Chattagram WASA Engineer AKM Fazlullah said, “We have sent several teams to Halishahar. Our teams found that our lines are very clear and clean. Our water is not polluted. But, there were ‘E’ virus and bacteria in the water of some water tanks.”
“We have distributed the leaflets with necessary directives among the dwellers instructing them to clean their water tanks,” thwe engineer added.
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