News Flash – 12 November 2019

National News



Dengue Cases up 300% in State this Year; Bengaluru Worst Hit


Bengaluru: Dengue cases continue to spiral in Karnataka, which has now recorded a staggering 300% year-on-year increase in its incidence. A large number of patients are in Bengaluru, which is the worst affected region in the state. Health officials believe intermittent showers and changed water storage practices in recent months have contributed to the problem. The number of cases rose by 15% in a month. The year’s figure till October 11 stood at 12,756 cases. It climbed to 14,666 by November 11. About 58% of the cases, or 8,483, were from Bengaluru. According to BBMP’s data, dengue cases went up from 129 in the 43rd week of 2019 to 257 in the 44th week (October 28 to November 3) a jump of 99%. Civic officials say a delay by hospitals in updating their data resulted in the sudden increase. Some hospitals didn’t update their figures in October; they did it only in November. “There are fewer cases compared to the situation in June and July. Some hospitals have not been updating their data regularly, which is why it seems the numbers increased in the 44th week,” said Dr BK Vijendra, chief health officer (public health), BBMP. The state-wide number fell from 1,419 in August to 1,007 in September before climbing to 1,247 in October.



“There was a downward trend in September, but intermittent rains, flood situation and changed water storage practices contributed to a slight increase in the number of cases in October,” said Dr Girimallappa N Nesaragi, joint director of the national vector-borne disease control programme wing of the state health department. Tertiary referral medical centres, like Manipal Hospitals, have seen a large number of suspected cases. “The severity varies from case to case. However, there have been fewer instances of dengue shock syndrome. There is a lot awareness among Bengalureans now, though some people still panic,” Dr Manohar KN, an internal medicine specialist with Manipal Hospitals. Dr SG Harish, chief of medicine at BR Life SSNMC Hospital, said close to 30% of inpatients there were are suspected or confirmed dengue cases. “In the past week, the numbers have increased. One reason could be the pattern of sporadic rain in the city. Three to four years ago, dengue was a seasonal problem, seen during June-October. But now, it is a perennial issue,” Dr Harish said.



Two Trains Collide in Hyderabad Leaving 17 Hurt

Rescue operations are under way after two trains collided at Kacheguda Railway Station in Hyderabad on Monday morning.



Hyderabad: It took eight hours of grueling rescue efforts to extricate a loco pilot alive from his mangled cabin after the train he was driving collided with the inbound Hundry Intercity Express after leaving the Kacheguda railway station in Hyderabad on Monday morning. Seventeen people suffered injuries in the accident. Six coaches of the MMTS (multi-modal transport system) service derailed due to the impact. Several passengers fell out of their coaches. The accident affected services on the Kacheguda-Falaknuma section at least 26 trains were cancelled. MMTS loco pilot D Chandrashekar, 35, who got stuck in the mangled cabin, was pulled out around 6.30 pm by a team of NDRF, GHMC’s DRF and Railway Medical Relief Van staff after a non-stop eight-hour effort. Railway officials said “his condition is stable” and is receiving treatment at a local hospital.



Around 10.35am, the Lingampalli-Falakunma MMTS (local city train) service started from platform number 2 of the Kacheguda station towards its destination, Falaknuma. Seconds later, it crashed into the inbound Hundry Express (Kurnool-Secunderabad) at the track interchange. The Hundry Express, which was waiting at the outer signal, was heading for platform number three, when the mishap occurred. B Sharamma, who was aboard the women’s coach in Hundry Express, said, “We heard a screeching sound and felt a huge jolt before the train came to a halt. Everyone in the coach fell over each other. Immediately after that, people started running towards the front of the train. I too was helped out by a few passengers”. A look of the accident spot reveals that both loco pilots could see each other as their cabins collided. A senior railway officials said, “Preliminary investigation revealed that the accident took place due to human error. We have ordered a high-level inquiry. We are yet to get all details”.



Aerial Survey of Bulbul-Hit Districts, Calls for Fast-Tracking Relief

WHAT WAS ONCE HOME: Villagers clear debris from their homes damaged by Cyclone Bulbul in Bakkhali; an aerial view of the affected areas.



Kakdwip (South 24 Parganas): Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday made an aerial survey of the district coastline ravaged by Cyclone Bulbul and said nearly 10 lakh people are likely to be affected and she feared substantial damage to agriculture. “It is too early to make a guess till a final assessment is done,” she said after landing at the Kakdwip Sports Complex grounds ahead of her administrative meeting. Banerjee directed the district administration of South 24 Parganas which bore the brunt of the cyclone to involve everyone at their disposal to speed up relief and rehabilitation work. “Involve clubs and social organisations who are eager to work. They can be paid as per the state daily labour rates (around Rs 179 per day),” she said. In light of the innumerable fallen electrical poles and overhead wires, the CM told officers of the power department to relocate surplus personnel from other districts to South 24 Parganas as a temporary measure to tackle the exigency. “We should try our best to restore power within the next seven days. Till then, I would urge people to be patient,” she said.



The chief minister’s primary anxiety, however, was the extent of damage to standing crops. Banerjee spoke to several people who were waiting for her at the Sports Complex grounds. “Dhan nuye gechhe. Noshto hoye jete pare. (The paddy crops have wilted. They may be damaged,” she said. The water in the fields, Banerjee added, can cause damage to standing crops awaiting harvest. The CM said an expert committee will assess the damage and suggest a recourse. She also expressed her anxiety over the damage to betel leaf plantations spread over 7,000 acres in the district. TOI reported this on Monday. At the administrative meeting, several concerns were raised. The CM was told that the district was facing an acute crisis of drinking water. TMC MLA Jayanta Naskar said saline water had damaged ponds. The CM said portable filters will be supplied to all blocks as an emergency measure. “I would urge all of you to momentarily shift focus from implementing bigger projects and train your energy on relief and rehabilitation work. We need to work in small spheres so that people get some succor immediately,” she said. The CM urged police station OCs, BDOs and SDOs, who she said were the face of the administration on the ground, to work on a war footing and reach out to people. Banerjee said nearly 1.76 lakh people were relocated. “The loss of life could have been even more,” she said. The CM is likely to visit Basirhat subdivision of North 24 Parganas where five people lost their lives on Wednesday.

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