NEW DELHI (dpa) – Hundreds of people were thronging medical camps in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state following its worst floods in decades that have killed more than 200 people, local media reported Saturday.
At medical camps set up in Srinagar just hours earlier, hundreds of people were seeking medical help for symptoms including nausea, acute diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, skin allergies and infected wounds.
Now that the water is receding, medics say there is a serious threat of a mass break out of waterborne diseases due to stagnant water and a shortage of clean drinking water.
“This is just the beginning, it will get worse when the water recedes and leaves behind contaminated water, causing diarrhoea, jaundice, cholera and typhoid,” doctor Mohammad Yahya Khan said.
“Our doctors are working hard in the camps,” Federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told NDTV. “As the floodwaters start receding, we are bound to have waterborne diseases. We are thoroughly prepared to handle diseases and treat people.”
Meanwhile, authorities were still struggling to rescue and evacuate people from flooded areas, and to cope with the infrastructure damage wrought by floods and landslides brought on by heavy rains.
Meanwhile, some 14 children died at Srinagar’s main children’s hospital as flooding disrupted power supplies and disabled ventilators.