Bengaluru, Feb 6 (IANS) The negligence and irresponsibility of the Congress government has resulted in the loss of two lives due to Monkey Fever, the leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, R. Ashoka, claimed on Tuesday.
The disease, also known as the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), is spreading fast in the hilly regions of the state, creating an alarming situation, he said.
Speaking to reporters here, Ashoka alleged that reports of Monkey Fever cases had come in November 2023, but the state government did not take note of them.
The failure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare is the reason for the rampant spread of the disease, he said.
“After the death of two persons, the government woke up and released guidelines. Later, senior officials held a routine meeting at Shivamogga. Had the government become alert two months back, the alarming situation could have been avoided,” Ashoka said.
Monkey Fever cases are usually reported during summer in Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, Udupi and Belagavi districts.
“For the past 66 years, the disease has been surfacing. The health department has shown total negligence towards the disease and as a result, the situation has turned serious,” Ashoka claimed.
This year, two persons — Ananya (18) and Subbaiah Gowda (79) — have died in the hospital.
There are reports of 50 more active cases. In the Siddapura region in Uttara Kannada, and Hosanagara taluk in Shivamogga, around 10-15 cases have been reported on a single day, triggering panic.
“Health department staff are asking people not to venture out, but people in the hilly region are forced to go out for one reason or the other. How can they remain at home without visiting their farms,” Ashoka questioned.
“Vaccines should be administered immediately and a door-to-door campaign should be launched. Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao must visit the affected regions. Also, Rs 10 lakh compensation should be provided to the families of the deceased persons,” he said.