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The West Bengal government today submitted an affidavit before the Calcutta High Court stating that a spurt in dengue cases in the state could have been caused by abrupt climate, combined with huge movement of people during the long holiday season in October. Hearing a set of PILs, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee had on November 3 directed the state government to file an action taken report on dealing with the dengue menace that has affected a large number of people. The rise in number of affected persons "during October 2017 could largely be attributed firstly to a very abrupt behaviour of climate, severe and low rainfall conditions favouring transmission of vector-borne disease combined with huge movement of population during long holiday seasons," state Director of Health Services (DHS) Biswa Ranjan Satpathy said in the affidavit. Claiming that the state government has taken all steps "in keeping with the suggested protocol of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare", Satpathy said these have led to very effective combating of vector-borne diseases since January till the third week of September when the death cases were five. He claimed that there was a sudden increase in fever cases starting from last week of September and through the month of October in some specific places. The DHS identified these places to be in Kolkata, North 24 Parganas district and Krishnagar in Nadia district. Since January, 19 dengue patients have died in government hospitals and 18,135 patients treated for the disease till date, Satpathy said. Several PILs seeking steps to control the vector-borne menace and compensation to the kin of those who died of dengue in the state are scheduled to be heard by the high court tomorrow.
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