Chikungunya and viral fever too threaten to dampen enthusiasm for the series opener as Kanpur battles health concerns ahead of India-New Zealand Test
LUCKNOW/ KANPUR: Its possible India and New Zealand may play before empty stands at the Green Park in Kanpur when the first Test begins next Thursday.
The reason is the spurt in dengue cases in the industrial city with 811 people, including 309 police personnel, testing positive for the vector-borne disease. Among the affected are cops overlooking security arrangements for the Test.
Apart from Additional Super intendent of Police, Jitendra Srivastava, who has been hospitalised for about two weeks, several other officers are being treated for dengue and chikungunya in private hospitals.
Of the 13,500 tickets earmarked for fans, only 3,000 have been sold so far despite the fact that a Test is being played here after a gap of almost seven years.
“No fogging has been done in or around the stadium as of now,” an official of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) told HT. The stadium is surrounded by filth, especially the waste of building materials, and even UPCA secretary Rajeev Shukla had ordered the stadium to be cleaned during a recent visit to the venue last week.
“The UPCA has already made the district administration and health department aware but nothing has been done so far ,” said the official, adding, “In case, fans don’t turn up during the match, UPCA has plans to give free entry to school and college students to avoid a no-fan situation during the match.” However, the authorities insisted there was no need to panic and arrangements were being made to prevent breeding of mosquitoes. The health department says around 2,026 suspected cases of dengue have been reported, out of which 811 have tested positive. Of these, 697 are undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Kanpur Senior Superintendent of Police, Shalabh Mathur, confirmed the challenge being faced by the cops. “Around 300 police personnel are undergoing treatment for viral fever and dengue, and these include station incharges and constables,” he told HT. He confirmed that police officials from other districts will be called to Kanpur to maintain law and order during the match. The Provincial Armed Constabulary and central security forces will also be deployed. Orders for foggin g have been given in residential areas for policemen and Kanpur Police has even arranged its own fogging machine, he said. Health officials claimed they were holding meetings to address the issue. Kanpur’s chief medical officer, RP Yadav, said, “All is well, no need to panic.”
He claimed patients were being treated and efforts being made to check the breeding of mosquitoes.