Himanta Biswa Sarma
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addressing a press conference in Guwahati. File Image credit - Northeast Now

Following death of several people in Japanese Encephalitis, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday announced that free treatment would be provided to the Japanese Encephalitis patients in the state.

While addressing a press conference at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati on Saturday minister Sarma said, “The treatment and medicines for Japanese Encephalitis patients, who are treated in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of medical colleges’ hospitals, will be free. The state government will make payment to the medical colleges for the treatment.”

Also read: Japanese Encephalitis claims 3 including child in Assam’s Darrang

He also said, “The Japanese Encephalitis affected patients, who undergo treatment in private nursing homes, will also get financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh from the state government.”

Health minister Sarma also announced that the Japanese Encephalitis patients if cannot be brought to the hospitals in 108 and 102 ambulances free of cost and are taken in other vehicles, the state government would bear expenses of Rs 1,000.

Also read: Assam: Japanese encephalitis claims first victim at Pathsala in Barpeta

Sarma announced that the doctors, nurses, ASHA workers and other employees engaged in government medical college hospitals and any other government hospital would not get leave up to September.

They will also not get casual leave of 15 days during this period, he said.

“Cases will be registered in police stations against the doctors and nurses who avail leave in this period. Legal action will be taken against those doctors, nurses and employees,” said Sarma.

He, however, said that if someone has to take leave due to unavoidable reasons, then he or she would have to take permission from the respective deputy commissioner.

The state health minister informed that Japanese Encephalitis is an inflammatory disease which occurs in three phases.

In first phase, it attacks a person with fever. If the test can be conducted immediately after being affected by fever, the affected person’s life can be saved.

The minister informed that a total of 135 people died in 2015 and 87 people died in 2017.

Stating that blood samples of 12.8 lakh people of the state have been collected, the minister said one should go for test if he or she suffers even from just common fever or flu.

A total of 1094 villages have been affected by Japanese Encephalitis this year. Arrangement of fogging has been made in these villages, said Sarma, adding that more 108 and 102 ambulances have been arranged for the Japanese Encephalitis patients.

According to information, this year a total of 46 people have died of Japanese Encephalitis so far in Assam.

Kalpajyoti Saikia is Senior Reporter of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: kalpasaikia649@gmail.com

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