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As water recedes in flood-hit Punjab, threat of epidemic diseases emerges

PTI     August 23, 2019

Chandigarh, Aug 23 (PTI) The floodwater from the deluged areas of Punjab, particularly Jalandhar, Ropar and Ferozepur districts began receding on Friday, giving rise to the threat of an outbreak of epidemic diseases. With no rains in the past two days, the water in flooded areas has started receding, officials said. The Army and NDRF personnel, however, continue to work overtime to shift people out of the flooded areas to safety, officials said. The prime concern for the state health authorities is the possible outbreak of epidemic diseases in the flood-hit areas once the water vanishes, Jalandhar Medical Officer A S Duggal said. Many people are already affected by diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, fungal infection and skin disease and are being treated at different camps, he said. Apprehending the outbreak of various diseases, he said the cases of water-borne ailments would increase in days to come. After recent rains and the release of excess water from the Bhakra Dam, the Sutlej river and its tributaries had flooded villages in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Rupnagar in Punjab, causing damage to the crops and houses in low-lying areas. With no fresh rains in the last two days, the water has started receding in swollen rivers of Punjab and Haryana but the farming fields over hundreds of acres and several villages remain inundated, officials said. Heavy rains a few days ago caused extensive damage to crops and property at many places in Punjab, submerging around 400 villages with the state government estimating loss worth Rs 1,700 crore by the deluge in the state, officials said. People are struggling to get their dwellings rid of slush and garbage to get on with life in the flood-ravaged villages. Punjab Local Bodies Minister Brahm Mohindra issued strict directions to ensure comprehensive measures to keep a check on the outbreak of any disease in the state, especially in the low lying areas. Notably, Punjab had faced the worst floods in 1988. PTI VSD RAX RAX

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