Dengue alert: Three cases filed against Moratuwa Uni

Published : 9:25 am  July 4, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (299) reads | 

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pics by Reka Tharangani

 

 

by Reka Tharangani   
The Moratuwa Municipality filed three cases against the Moratuwa University after it found five locations with stagnant water and mosquito larvae. 


Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Municipality Commissioner M.M.C.K. Mannapperuma said relevant officials had previously filed five cases against the university for Dengue related offenses. A significant number of Dengue cases and a death have been reported from the university. 

 

We will have to deploy more people to clear the area. PHIs have been directe d to keep an eye on the area to ensure the situation does not get out of hand

 

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“Officials said the university was safe and students contracted the fever from poorly-maintained boarding places. How is this possible? The mosquito is active only during mornings and afternoons,” Mr. Mannapperuma pointed out.  The Commissioner alleged that students who were affected by Dengue fever from other parts of the country could be at the university. However, there were 25 patients reported from the city limits, while 12 of them were reported during the month of June.  “We can’t clean or fog the area unless there is a request from the administration of the university to do so. However, we will no longer wait for such a request. We will fog the area to ensure the epidemic doesn’t spread and intensify,” Mr. Mannapperuma said. 


It was learnt that the municipality had dispatched some 95 personnel including Public Health Inspectors (PHIs), navy, community police and labourers to fog the premises. 


“The group was not equipped to handle the situation at the university. We will have to deploy more people for several days to clear the area. PHIs have been directed to keep an eye on the area to ensure the situation does not get out of hand,” he said. 


When contacted, Moratuwa University Vice Chancellor Ananda Jayawardena said they were unable to clear the area outside the university. 


“We never said there were no mosquitoes found here. We can clear the premises inside the university, but not the immediate vicinity outside it,” he said. 


Mr. Jayawardena went on to say that officials had not lapsed in their responsibility as they had searched and cleared as much as they could.  “It is not true that 87 university students have Dengue. We have reports of only 22. There is a viral flu which is also spreading in the area,” the Vice Chancellor said.  Speaking of the student who died due to Dengue, Mr. Jayawardena said she lived in a boarding house in the vicinity as was the case with many of the students at the university. 

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“Many of our students live in boarding houses in the vicinity which are often not up to expected standards. We also found out that the Dengue mosquito is there throughout the day and we have students in the premises at all times,” he said. 


Maintaining a 54-acre land is no easy task and there could be areas we might miss. This could result in legal action being taken against the university. 


“However, this doesn’t mean students were infected while at the university. We closed the university for two weeks to clear the entire area. We did this for the students living in the vicinity, not because the university is a high risk zone,” he said. 


The university had taken all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the students and its staff, the Vice Chancellor reiterated.