The government Wednesday claimed there were no deaths due to chikungunya in the country. "There are no deaths in the country due to chikungunya. People don't die of the virus. Those who are dying are succumbing to secondary complications," Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters.
The minister said Director General of Health Services R K Srivastava would visit Kerala, where over 70 people reportedly died of the disease. "I have called a meeting of health ministers of all chikungunya-affected states on October 11. In the meeting we will decide whether they need more funds to combat the problem," Ramadoss said.
A five-member team, including experts from National Institute of Communicable Diseases, left for Kerala Tuesday.
Ramadoss said he has spoken to Kerala Health Minister P K Sreemathi. "We will be carrying out autopsies in all the deaths to find out the exact cause," he said.
"The virus has come to the country after 32 years and is due to climatic conditions like more rains and sanitation problems," he said. The minister said there are no vaccines for chikungunya and people who have contracted the disease should consult doctors and take paracetamol and consume more water.