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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Oct 6:

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today met Union Health Minister JP Nadda at the latter’s New Delhi office and requested him to send a Central fact finding team to investigate Japanese Encephalitis outbreak in Odisha.

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“The disease has assumed epidemic proportions and has claimed lives of more than 30 infants. In fact, National Human Rights Commission has also issued notice to public authorities in Odisha asking them to submit a detailed report including the steps being taken by them within four weeks. I requested him to send a high level fact finding team to investigate the causes for the outbreak of the disease and also advise remedial measures for containing its fallout,” said Pradhan.

He further requested Nadda to provide necessary assistance to the State Government to effectively tackle the disease in the state.

“The deaths have been reported from Malkangiri district of Odisha which is an under-developed district afflicted with Left Wing extremism. The district fares poorly on all socio-economic indicators. Therefore, it is necessary that the Government of lndia extends all possible support for identifying the causes of the disease and advise the State Government regarding effective steps for combating the clinical fallout of its spread and for preventing mortality associated therewith,” he added.

Nadda assured Pradhan that the Union Health Secretary is in contact with his counterpart in the state and necessary steps are being taken to contain the situation.

“We are already in touch with the State Government. The Health Secretary will discuss the issue with his state counterpart. We are considering the option to send a Central team. I can assure you that all necessary support will be provided to the state,” said Nadda.