Health officials from Chhattisgarh's Bijapur and Narayanpur districts conducted health camps in remote villages amid reports claiming that 39 persons had died due to an unknown illness there in the last couple of months, a district official said on Tuesday.
Some reports in local media claimed that 39 people had died in four villages — Bail (Dharma), Petha and Marrameta (Bijapur) and Rengawaya and Pidiakot (Narayanpur), Bijapur Collector Rajendra Katara told PTI.
Though the figure of 39 deaths was being reported, a list of 32 deceased persons was provided by media persons, in which 15 cases were from Bijapur and remaining from Narayanpur, he said.
However, preliminary investigations suggested that 12 people had died in two villages in Bijapur since June last year, while 13 had died in two villages of Narayanpur due to various reasons, including age-related ailments and natural causes in the last four months.
Health teams from the two districts left for these villages on September 23 from Bijapur side after crossing Indravati river on an State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) boat and stayed there for three days and conducted medical examination of villagers, the collector said.
On verification, it was found that nine people had died in Marrameta and three in Bail between July 2021 and September this year, but all of them did not die due to the same ailment as it was being claimed, he said.
They died due to various reasons, including age-related problems, heart attack, pneumonia and tuberculosis, Katara said, refuting media reports that the deaths had taken place in the last two-three months.
At least 610 people in five villages of Bijapur were treated for cough, cold, fever and none of them were found seriously ill during the camp, the collector said. Similarly, the health team confirmed the deaths of 10 people in Rekawaya village and three in Pidiakot in the last four months due to several reasons, including age-related ailments, drowning, suicide and weakness, he said.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Narayapur Zilla Panchayat Devesh Kumar Dhurv said the findings of the medical teams indicate that deaths that occurred in the last four months in the two villages were mostly due to natural causes and prima facie, there was no sign of any unknown illness.
(With PTI inputs)