Death toll reaches 21

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JAJARKOT, APR 18 – Four more people have succumbed to the disease that broke out in Jajarkot district three weeks ago, taking the toll to 21 on Friday.

The District Public Health Office identified the deceased as Badi Tamata, 50, of Archani VDC-2; Hansa Bahadur Shahi, 58, of Archani VDC-7; and Amrita Adhikari, a four-week-old in Pajaru-5. Another infant, Ritu Tamata, of Pajaru -4, died on Thursday. They are learnt to have died in course of treatment.

The epidemic has hit Syangri of Pajaru-1 and wards 2 and 8 of Nayak Bada VDC the hardest. Locals have been complaining that health personnel have yet to reach them.

Although the government has claimed that the disease has been contained, the number of deaths is growing. “New cases are reported every day,” said Sita Ram Gautam, a teacher. “People have stopped going from one place to another. They are in a state of panic.”

Also, a health worker who had fallen ill at the outbreak site has been referred to the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kathmandu. Senior Auxiliary Health Worker Ram Krishna Giri, who had been complaining of headache and fever, was referred to the district hospital on Wednesday.

Due to the shortfall of health workers in several local health posts, people have been deprived of treatment.

Meanwhile, the District Public Health Office is reluctant to send additional workforce to the outbreak site citing a lack of funds. “We just had Rs150,000 which has already been spent. I have no means to fund the deployment of additional health workers,” said Dhirajung Shah, chief of the DPHO. “We have not able to bring in doctors from nearby places due to budget constraints.”

Rukum also affected

People in Rukum are also complaining of headache, vomiting, dizziness, high-fever for the past few days. As many as 22 people have been ill.