New Delhi: Assam government, after 49 deaths reported due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the state, has decided to keep the leaves for all doctors and paramedical staff on hold.

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Assam was currently undergoing a transmission season for JE with 190 reported positive cases between Jan – July 5.

All districts of Assam except Kokrajhar district are currently under influence of JE.

Leaves of all doctors/paramedic staff including surveillance workers are cancelled till Sept 30. Emergency leaves only with prior approval of Deputy Commissioner of the District.

He also said that unauthorised absence from place of posting even after duty hours will be treated seriously amounting to criminal dereliction of duty.

“A total of 3622 fever cases have been transferred to the health facilities during June 2019. Vaccination for JE through the routine immunization for children is currently going on regularly. Realizing the importance of Adult vaccination was done in 20 Districts of Assam during 2016-17 where the coverage was about 68 per cent. However there is a need for adult vaccination mop up to prevent the outbreak in all the remaining districts,” the order read.

The government also announced measures to further strengthen the combat against JE.

According to the statement, the government medical emergency service 108 and 102 has been further strengthened with the direction to give priority in carrying JE/AES patients.  In case patients are brought through own means, Rs 1000 allowance will be provided.

Treatment in government hospitals for JE/AES will be free of cost and in case patients go to private hospitals and admitted in ICU, the government will pay a consolidated treatment allowance of up to Rs 1 lakh per patient.

“After the identification of JE cases, the affected areas are covered extensively for awareness generation, intensified fogging operation. A total of 1,094 affected villages have been covered through intensified fogging operations already,” he said.