Japanese Encephalitis, which has engulfed 157 districts in 20 States, will soon be made a “notifiable” disease, Health Minister JP Nadda announced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
He was replying to a calling attention motion by Yogi Adityanath and Jagdambika Pal, amid concerns expressed by all members over “failure” to check it despite years of efforts. The disease has for long been raging primarily in eastern UP, Bihar and West Bengal.
A “notifiable” disease is required by law to be reported to authorities, allowing them to prepare in time to take preventive measures.
Nadda also accepted the demand that the Gorakhpur-based unit of National Institute of Virology, Pune, will be upgraded as a regional centre.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh sought the Centre’s intervention as the incidence had been growing since the past 20-25 years. Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury supported him, saying “States do not have the capacity”.
However, Nadda blamed the State governments, especially UP, saying over ₹50 crore given to it for disease control had been lying unspent as of April 2016.