Catholic priest dies as dengue ravages Kerala
By Matters India Reporter
Kochi: A young Catholic priest died of dengue on July 13 in Kerala as the epidemic fever continues to ravage the southern Indian state.
Father Sijo Olickal succumbed to the fever at Caritas Hospital in Kottayam.
The 31-year-old priest was first admitted to Holy Cross Hospital at Muttuchira in Kottayam district a few days ago. He was brought to the Kottayam hospital as his condition deteriorated. The end came around noon as he suffered from internal bleeding.
The priest, a renowned singer, was a member of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales (MSFS) or Fransalians. He lived in the MSFS house in Electronic City in Bengaluru, capital of neighboring Karnataka state.
The priest is among more than 100 people who died as various types of fevers affected hundreds of thousands people in Kerala.
The state government has appealed the public to join the government’s massive cleaning program to check further spread of the disease.
The state had undertaken a three-day sanitation drive from June 27 to remove garbage piles in public places and to clear the mosquito breeding sources, stated as the major reason for the spread of fever.
Kerala topped the list of people affected by fever this year in India, followed by Tamil Nadu.
The state health department counted 210,450 people affected by fevers by the end of June. It also said a total of 121 persons had succumbed to fevers in the first six months of this year.