Following the floods across the State due to heavy rainfall over the past week, the government fears a surge in cases of leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, and viral fevers. The health department has formed 162 medical teams to conduct house-to-house visits for early symptom diagnosis and treatment.Of these, 114 teams are working in the Thane region, 37 in Kolhapur and 10 in Pune.A health department official said a four-member team of two male and female medical worker each would visit bigger areas and villages, while the smaller villages would be covered by two-member teams.A press release issued on Tuesday by Health Minister Eknath Shinde said nearly 1.14 lakh people have been affected by the floods and heavy rainfall across the State. As many as 36 villages in the Kolhapur region, 18 in Thane and two to three villages in Satara and Nashik have been severely affected.“So far, the teams have covered more than 14,000 households. In the flood-affected areas, we have also undertaken work for cleaning water in the wells,” Mr. Shinde said.Fear of outbreakFor those who have waded through floodwater, leptospirosis is the biggest risk. It is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through rat and cattle urine and excreta and commonly caused when one wades through contaminated water and the bacteria is transmitted through unhealed wounds in the skin, abrasions, and cuts especially on the foot. Mumbai has recorded 62 cases, and one death, due to leptospirosis in July this year.As the floodwaters recede, a surge in vector-borne disease is also most likely as mosquito breeding sees a rise. “Konkan, Navi Mumbai, and Thane region have recorded very high rainfall. The civic administration should be prompt in vector control measures. Those who have waded through water should get easy access to prophylactic medication as well,” Mr. Shinde said.
More than six weeks after a security guard Pradeep Tomar allegedly died because of torture at a police post in Pilakhuwa town of Hapur district, two constables have been arrested.Also read ‘Custodial’ death sparks tension in U.P. town“Manish Singh and Sonu Kumar were arrested on Wednesday. They were produced before a magistrate and have been sent to jail,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, Circle Officer, Hapur (city), who is investigating the case.He refused to comment on the constables’ role in the case. “It is still a matter of investigation.” He said two other accused, SHO Yogesh Baliyan and sub-inspector Ajab Singh, who were under suspension, were still on the run.Deputy Superintendent of Police Santosh Mishra, who was also named in the FIR and transferred to Garhmukteshwar after the incident, has already been given a clean chit in the case.Mr. Tomar, 35, died on the intervening night of October 13 after he was picked by the police from the Chhijarasai toll booth in Pilakhuwa. The police had claimed he was picked up for questioning in connection with a murder case. However, Mr. Tomar’s family, including his 10-year-old son who was allegedly present when his father was picked up, claimed that he was tortured by the police personnel.Based on the complaint of the deceased’s brother Kuldeep, an FIR was registered against six police personnel under stringent Sections of the Indian Penal Code.