Two persons of the same ward in Siliguri, who had tested positive for dengue, died today. Trinamul Congress Ward 23 committee president Bishnu Pada Saha, 56, and another man Nantu Paul, 39, died in two private health facilities, sources said.
Saha’s death certificate mentions sepsis with multiorgan failure as the cause of his death. Paul’s family members said he had been suffering from liver ailments for a long time. They had been residents of Dabgram in Ward 23. The BJP, meanwhile, alleged that failure of the Trinamnul Congress-led civic board led to the surge in dengue cases in the town. The party said that drains had not been cleared properly in the area.
Siliguri Mayor Gautam Deb, who rushed to Saha’s residence, along with other party leaders, expressed grief at the demise. He had been admitted to the nursing home a few days ago.
“He had been ill, but it appears there was a delay in his treatment. I met him at the nursing home and talked to the doctors. He had sepsis and turned towards multi-organ failure. He had suffered stroke twice. He had been tested dengue positive at the initial stages,” Mr Deb said.
The mayor, deputy mayor Ranjan Sarkar, Darjeeling district party chief Papiya Ghosh, Siliguri Municipal Corporation chairman Pratul Chakraborty, member of mayor-in-council, conservancy, Manik De, ward councillor Laxmi Paul and other party leaders paid their last respects to the deceased.
With this, at least 20 persons in the civic body area have died after contracting dengue and fever so far this year. “He had been an old party colleague, involved in sports activities. He was soft spoken and he dedicated himself to the party,” Mr Deb said.
On the other hand, Paul’s uncle, Pranab Paul, said he had been suffering from fever since 27 October. He had met doctors on 29 October. “His condition turned serious on Sunday, so we immediately took him to a nursing home. The test confirmed dengue presence. But he had been suffering from liver ailments for a long time,” Mr Paul said.
A resident of Satyajit Ray Street bylane, Paul would work in a private firm. He is survived by his son, wife and mother.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA of Siliguri Shankar Ghosh also visited Saha’s residence. “The civic board is incom-
petent in controlling the dengue situation, and people are paying the price for this. It has failed to provide minimum basic civic services. The current situation is set to create a record, breaking the record for the number of cases and deaths in recent years. Siliguri had never witnessed such a record number of dengue cases. There has been a three-fold increase from the earlier highest number. There have been attempts also to suppress data and accurate information–sharing the number of dengue prone wards, ward details, number of active cases among the people, to sensitise people consistently. Spraying, removal of fresh stagnant water are some of the key tools in the fight against dengue, but there
are hardly any fruitful results of activities done to control mosquito breeding. I have doubts about the positive outcome of the door-to-door visits of health workers. The board not only failed to involve the local residents, but it also did not engage the Oppositions,” Mr Ghosh said.
The SMC has recorded 3734 cases till 30 October since January this year. Mr Deb said there was no slackness in steps taken to check dengue cases.
“We are taking necessary steps at the ground level. The civic body is acting according to the guidelines of the government. We will hold an important meeting tomorrow. The action plans, which we have taken, will be reviewed and if necessary they will be modified,” he said.