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TURA | June 21, 2019:

In a major relief to residents, none of the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases that until now were thought to be positive, have shown any symptoms of the disease as per the latest reports of the Central team that visited Tura in West Garo Hills.

The latest reports come in when the entire region was in a state of panic and is a complete volte face to earlier announcements.

The revelation came about this evening after a conversation with the deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills (WGH) who confirmed the earlier cases were only a false alarm and none of the patients have contracted the disease, including those diagnosed earlier through local hospitals.

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According to reports available yesterday, 17 cases of JE detection had come about in the district of West and South Garo Hills, with most of them being from Tura. As to how the cases earlier were diagnosed with having contracted JE is still being looked into.

“We have called a meeting of local committee members as well as all stake holders involved in the matter tomorrow. None of the cases are clinically positive for AES as per the Central medical team. We are however maintaining precautions and the meeting tomorrow will carry the same message,” said Ram Singh.

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Alarm bells had rung across the state due to the panic set in after the announcement of detection of JE leading to the entire state medical unit along with the CM, Conrad K Sangma, coming down to Tura to take stock of the situation as well as to try and prevent further outbreaks.

Pig rearers within the town were also off loaded of their stock owing to the crackdown of the district administration within town limits.

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Meanwhile, panic has set in after reports of 17 cases of JE being detected in Garo Hills leading to panic with many people buying medicines. CEPARD, an NGO from the region has hit out at the non availability of medicines for JE vaccination in the Tura Civil Hospital while private hospitals in Tura are making a huge profit – selling the vaccines for Rs 675 each.

“Why has the government not made the medicines available to the people – most of who are poor? This is leading to many private hospitals making a killing at the expense of the common man. The government should take responsibility for ensuring the poor are able to afford the vaccination as well as medicines if they have contracted the disease,” said president of CEPARD, SR Sangma, prior to knowing that none of the cases tested positive for AES.

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