Nepal | May 27, 2020

Biratnagar at high risk of jaundice epidemic

Himalayan News Service
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Biratnagar, May 18

Biratnagar is at high risk of another jaundice epidemic outbreak, as the concerned authority has yet again failed to replace the old pipelines in the city.

A jaundice outbreak had taken the lives of as many as 12 persons and more than 2,000 people were taken ill around three years ago in Biratnagar.

Then health minister Khaga Raj Adhikari had reportedly assured locals that he would allocate the required budget to replace old pipelines after drinking water supplied through the pipes were found to be contaminated with coliform bacteria.

Three years on, the government is yet to allocate any budget to replace the drinking water pipes in Biratnagar.

Chief at the Drinking Water Corporation, Biratnagar, Santosh Kumar Rauniyar said that they could not be confident regarding the purity of drinking water in the city. “The old pipes cannot be replaced any time soon due to lack of budget,” he said. He informed that though they purify water before supplying them to consumers, the water could gather harmful bacteria while being transported through the old pipeline. Rauniyar said that some precaution has to be taken to avoid possible epidemic.

Dr Dinesh Neupane reiterated that the chance of a jaundice epidemic in Biratnagar was high due to the polluted water. Dr Neupane advised the general public to boil water before use. Dr Bal Krishna Shah said that jaundice was more dangerous for pregnant women than other people.

A version of this article appears in print on May 19, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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