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49 ‘chikungunya’ cases identified in Karachi’s Malir

KARACHI: Stakeholders at a public hearing held to discuss the Environmental Impact Assess­ment (EIA) report of a proposed high-rise project on Tuesday raised concerns over its sustainability and possible impacts on the fragile environment of the city, which already faces a civic crisis on account of acute shortage of water, lack of waste disposal measures, discharge of untreated waste into the sea and high levels of air and noise pollution.

A shared concern was linked to the capacity of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) to ensure compliance of the environment management plan suggested in the EIA report of the project.

The meeting on Signature 27, a 25-storey residential-cum-commercial tower, to be built in Phase VII Extension of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) by Al-Feroz Private Limited, was organised by Sepa at a local hotel.

The project’s EIA was conducted by the Environmental Management Consultants (EMC).

Some prominent features of the project described as a ‘green building’ included a waste water KARACHI: A team of experts has so far identified 49 suspected cases of chikungunya in Malir, a mosquito-borne disease, it emerged on Tuesday.

According to sources, the patients were found to have an acute onset of fever (102°F) and severe arthralgia or arthritis, which couldn’t be explained by other medical conditions.

The most frequent clinical features were fever, joint pain, fatigue and rashes. Most cases were found in Khokharapar followed by Jalbani Goth, Liaquat Market, Mandra Goth and Gharibabad.

Hundreds of patients with complaints of high fever and acute joint pain have been reporting at health facilities in Malir for the past many weeks.

“Blood samples of five patients have already been sent to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, for confirmation, which will at least take five days,” said Programme Manager Dengue Prevention and Control Programme Dr Masood Solangi, adding that the Aga Khan University Hospital didn’t have the facility to diagnose chikungunya.

There was no cure for chikungunya and treatment was focused on relieving symptoms, he said. “It’s rarely fatal. Patients usually recover from fever in a few days, though joint [pain] is often debilitating and can vary in duration,” he explained.

courtesy : dawn news

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