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Monday, Jan 31, 2005

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Call for alert against disease outbreaks in Andamans

Our Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram , Jan. 30

THOUGH there have so far been no reports of outbreaks of any infectious diseases in the tsunami-hit Andaman and Nicobar islands, the authorities must maintain a high level of vigilance.

This is one of the suggestions made in a report prepared by RESQ International, a city-based voluntary organisation that participated in relief operations in the tsunami-affected regions of the islands.

Addressing a press conference in the city today, members of the organisation led by Dr S.S. Santhosh Kumar and Dr S. Sajith Kumar pointed out that the authorities in the Andaman and Nicobar islands must continue to be vigilant for possible outbreaks of communicable diseases at the relief camps until the monsoons are over.

Active surveillance for outbreaks of malaria should be carried out in all relief camps in the islands, they added. Urgent measures must be taken to improve the sanitary facilities at most relief camps in the islands.

Commenting on the relief operations in Kerala, Dr Sajith Kumar said that the State's rescue and relief system had performed reasonably well after the tsunami hit the State. However, Kerala's disaster management system could be improved, he added.

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