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PF malaria hits bordering villages of Tripura amid fear of Covid infection

The plasmodium falciparum (PF) malaria infection during summer is common in Dhalai and Gomati districts of Tripura but last year there were not many reports of malaria infection due to Covid.

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Agartala: When the administration concentrated their whole efforts to fight against coronavirus, a sudden spurt of malaria in the Dhalai district of North Tripura has added concern for the health department and pulled the life out of gear in hilly locations.
The plasmodium falciparum (PF) malaria infection during summer is common in Dhalai and Gomati districts of Tripura but last year there were not many reports of malaria infection due to Covid. However, with the beginning of rain last month, malaria cases were reported, which has prompted the government to go for malaria testing besides detection of Covid.
However, so far there is no malaria death reported in the state this year. Health officials said as many as 247 malaria cases have been tested in three weeks mostly in bordering remote villages of Dhalai district. The patients have been reporting to the local hospitals complaining of fever and physical weakness, who were initially suspected Covid positive but later they were found affected with PF malaria, the officials said.
“Mostly the aged people and children coming to local hospitals with common complaints of ailment and all of them were tested malaria positive. And, their level of hemoglobin was found very low that made them susceptible to any critical disease including Covid. Hence, a few serious cases have been referred to district hospital and transmitted blood,” said a senior health official here.
Explaining the malaria situation, the officials of Directorate of Preventive Medicine said last year because of Covid-19, the movement of people even in the villages in a large part of the state during summer was minimum and even the most backward community was also under the fear of the attack of coronavirus. As a result, the spread of malaria was not evident last year but with the improvement of Covid situation in rural Tripura, PF malaria hits back, he pointed out.
The district health officials stated that malaria surveillance teams with ASHA workers have been mobilised to conduct a household level survey of malaria symptoms and go for a rapid antigen test on the spot for suspected cases. Moreover, through district administration all block level officials were advised to activate panchayat level officials to collect health related information on a daily basis to fight against malaria and Covid as well.
“We are also dispatching emergency medicine, testing kits and deploying additional doctors in seven rural hospitals of Dhalai district in last few days. The hospitals were asked to hold health camps in the malaria prone localities of the villages and if required, temporary deployment of doctors would be done to manage the situation,” the officials added.

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