Nearly 250 dengue patients have undergone treatment at two hospitals in the district. Over 80 per cent of them are the workers of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project.

Currently, 25 dengue patients are undergoing treatment at hospitals while another 40 foreign citizens, suffering from dengue fever, have been taking treatment at different hospitals including in Dhaka, said the project sources.

Nearly 100 dengue patients have taken treatment at the Ishwardi Upazila Health Complex. Among them, 80/85 are the workers of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project. Ten, including nine workers of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project, dengue patients were taking treatment at the Upazila Health Complex on Friday.

The mosquito bites more in the morning. The number of mosquitoes decreases as the sunlight increases
Arif Hossain, a worker at RNPP project from Rooppur village

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Pabna district civil surgeon Manisar Chowdhury said, “Upon hearing about the dengue patients, we have collected larva samples from several spots including Green City, the project’s residential area. But we haven’t found the existence of larva of Aedes mosquito anywhere. Access to the main project area is restricted. We can collect larva from the main project area and test them if the authorities want.”

Pabna General Hospital sources said the first dengue patient was admitted into the hospital on 1 April. He, however, returned to Pabna from Dhaka.

Later, some more people returned to Pabna from Dhaka and took treatment of dengue fever at the hospital.

The sources also said dengue patients from Rooppur and the nearby areas started to take admission into the hospital from 29 August. As of Friday (7 October), 146 dengue patients took treatment at Pabna General Hospital in 41 days. On Friday, 15 including 12 workers of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project were taking treatment at the hospital.

While visiting the hospital on Friday afternoon, this correspondent found that dengue patients had been taking treatment at the medicine ward separately. All of them were inside mosquito nets. Many were being treated intravenously. Relatives of a few patients were seen feeding them.

As per the information the patients provided, the dengue fever is spreading from the project site. We haven’t got patients from Ishwardi town
Asma Khan, Ishwardi upazila health and family planning officer

Ishwardi upazila health and family planning officer Asma Khan said not only in Pabna General Hospital, nearly 100 dengue patients have taken treatment at this hospital as well. About 80/85 of them are workers of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project. Ten dengue patients, including nine workers of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, took admission at the upazila health complex on Friday. Everyone is being given necessary treatment, she added.

Asma Khan also said, “As per the information the patients provided, the dengue fever is spreading from the project site. We haven’t got patients from Ishwardi town.”

Akash Hossain, from Maligachha village of Pabna sadar, works as a foreman of a contractor firm ‘Nikim’ at the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project. All 12 members of his team were infected with dengue fever. Akash himself has been taking treatment of dengue fever at a hospital for the last six days.

Akash said Rubel, a worker of the company he works at, died of dengue fever 15 days ago while under treatment.

He claimed that there is a huge amount of mosquito in a few puddles of rainwater in the project area. The authorities spray insecticide after every one or two days. Akash demanded the insecticide be sprayed more frequently.

Arif Hossain, a worker at RNPP project from Rooppur village said, “The mosquito bites more in the morning. The number of mosquitoes decreases as the sunlight increases.”

Ruhul Kuddus, site in-charge of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project, told Prothom Alo, “A Russian company is in charge of the main project. None can enter the project site without their permission. We have asked them to take action immediately after learning the spread of dengue fever at the project. They have been spraying insecticides and taking other steps regularly.”

* The report has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza