Hyderabad, May 11 (IANS) The number of cholera cases here rose to 26 as hundreds of people who fell sick due to suspected water contamination in different parts of the state were Monday admitted to hospitals.
Doctors at two government-run hospitals here said 26 cases of cholera were confirmed while dozens of others affected by water contamination last week remained hospitalised.
Almost all the cholera cases are from Bholakpur neighbourhood, where water contamination last week claimed 12 lives and left 500 people sick.
The outbreak of cholera, gastroenteritis and other communicable and water-borne diseases in different parts of the state has alarmed the authorities while opposition parties have urged the state government to declare a medical emergency.
Twelve cases of cholera were confirmed at Fever Hospital and 14 at Gandhi Hospital.
'We have tested 58 samples and 12 of them are confirmed cholera cases. We are sending the samples to National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkatta for cross verification,' Fever Hospital superintendent P. Prasad told reporters.
A team of experts from NICED visited Bholakpur and surrounding areas to collect water samples and blood samples of the residents.
Tragedy struck Bholakpur last week after residents consumed drinking water that was mixed with drainage water. The state government has suspended three officials for negligence.
Meanwhile, 80 people fell sick in Wardhannapet in Warangal district after drinking contaminated water. The district authorities confirmed that the drainage water had seeped into drinking water pipelines.
More than 100 people were admitted to hospitals in Zaheerabad town in Medak district, Tadipatri in Anantapur district and Mandamarri in Adilabad district.
Finance Minister K. Rosaiah said at a news conference that Hyderabad, Warangal, Adilabad and Khammam districts were put on high alert. Three cabinet ministers were sent to affected areas to monitor the situation and take preventive measures to contain the spread of disease.
Rosaiah rejected the demand of the opposition to declare health emergency in the state, saying there was no such precedent in the state's history.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi demanded the declaration of a medical emergency and blamed the negligence of the state government for the outbreak of various diseases.