Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday asserted that the fight against encephalitis is in its last phase in Gorakhpur and its surrounding areas and that the disease will be eradicated in the region in two years. He also said that the state has taken several steps to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"The region is in the last phase of its fight against encephalitis and in two years, the disease, which was the cause of death of a huge number of people for the last 40 years, will be eradicated from the Gorakhpur-Basti comissionary (divisions), if efforts undertaken in the last three years continue," Adityanath told reporters here. “We will fight against COVID-19 on the same lines," the chief minister said. Adityanath claimed that among the big states in the country, Uttar Pradesh has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and has the highest number of coronavirus tests conducted.
The chief minister was apparently referring to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which have a total infection tally more than Uttar Pradesh. "Due to timely decisions taken on COVID-19 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are in a better position. Prevention is the only way till we have a COVID vaccine," he said. Adityanath also said that the Swachch Bharat campaign played a leading role tackling the COVID-19 infection and other vector borne disease as toilets were constructed in large numbers.
The chief minister said because of the coordinated work of the administration, sanitation department and health department, and several awareness campaigns, “we are able to face the challenges of COVID-19 and vector borne diseases.” Presenting statistics of encephalitis and other vector-borne diseases in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath said, "In 2019, out of 816 AES (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) cases, 34 died and in 2020, out of 396 cases, 12 died. There was no case of malaria. In 2019, out of 135 Dengue cases, two died, whereas in 2020, all the 32 cases recovered." He also presented district-wise data of AES and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases of Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Maharajganj and Deora and showed how the number of cases and death rate had decreased hugely. Adityanath during a meeting with officials regarding protection against COVID-19, construction of roads, cleanliness and sanitation, instructed them to increase the number of COVID-19 tests and create awareness against the infection. He directed district magistrates and the Chief Minister's Office to hold meetings every morning and evening regarding COVID-19. The chief minister said in the meeting that the COVID hospital at the Bal Sansthan of the BRD Medical College should be readied. He also said after activating the oxygen plant in the BRD Medical College's old super specialty building, 50-bed facility should be started as soon as possible.
People of five categories that is pregnant women, elderly people, children and people suffering from other ailments should not be given permission for home isolation, but hospitalised in case they test COVID-19 positive, Adityanath said. He also instructed that at least 4,000 coronavirus tests should be conducted per day after identifying COVID-19 suspects using door-to-door surveys.