Negombo is in the grip of a major dengue epidemic, with health and local government authorities warning residents to clean up their homes and gardens.
Seventy-five dengue patients were being treated at the Negombo Hospital yesterday while a high-level team from the Epidemiology Unit in Colombo rushed to the area on Friday to take measures to rein-in the epidemic, the Sunday Times learns.
Confirming that 15 of the 75 dengue patients were children, Negombo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. A.R.M. Thowfeek said one adult died last week. “Although the patient was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, we were unable to prevent the death because the patient came to hospital late,” he said.
On Friday, a team headed by Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Paba Palihawadana herself, rushed to Negombo to liaise with all relevant groups and launch concerted efforts to curb the epidemic.
There are no big water collection areas and the garbage collection and disposal seem to be going on smoothly, Dr. Palihawadana said, pointing a finger at households for not cleaning up their homes and gardens.
Control measures have been initiated in coordination with the ground level health staff as well as the local government authorities and the Environmental Police, she said, stressing that stern action such as prosecution would be taken if any householder is found to be harbouring mosquito-breeding areas.
There are hordes of mosquitoes even during the day, she said, explaining that many houses and compounds seem to be neglected as the owners were abroad.
Referring to some of the measures being taken, Dr. Palihawadana said intensive fogging has already been initiated and she would be sending a jeep-mounted fogging machine from Vavuniya, while going back to Negombo tomorrow to check out the situation.As the hospital is getting a flood of dengue patients, the High Dependency Unit has also been strengthened, she added.
Expressway stone attack on monk’s vehicle
A car carrying former LSSP parliamentarian Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thera came under a stone attack on the southern expressway on Friday night, police said.
The incident that took place between Dodangoda and Welipenna came as motorists and police expressed alarm over such attacks on the newly-opened expressway.
The monk was not hurt but his vehicle was damaged, the police said.
Stamp in honour of Chunnakam school
The Posts and Telecommunications Ministry will today issue a special commemorative first day cover and stamp to mark the 117th anniversary of Skandavarodaya College, Chunnakam, Jaffna.Postal Services Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga will be the chief guest while Senior Minister of Human Resources D E W Gunasekara will be the special guest at the function to be held at Saraswathy Hall, Bambalapitiya at 5.30 pm.