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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.

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3 Responses to Catholic priest dies as dengue ravages Kerala

  1. Fr.Anish

    The situation in Kerala is alarming with regard to various kinds of fever attacks. One of the last victims was Fr. Sijo. He was a priest with missionary zeal. We lost a dynamic highly talented priest.He was just junior to me in our seminary days.

    Cuvil Authorities are not very active with regard to the health condition. They say many things and go in vain…… Public health department is very much slow to act… Political parties are only for declaring harthals for unnecessary things…..

  2. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Sad loss. RIP Father Sijo Olickal. Wishing strength and courage to all his loved ones. God bless.

  3. Fr.Joseph Anithottam

    It is very unfortunate that a state which boasts itself of high literacy rate in the country lacks grading in waste disposal and hygiene. Every family in the rural area can dig a pit for the dumping of the waste and turn it as wormicompost. The rubber plantation is a major area of mosquito breeding due to the fact that the latex collecting shells or vessels are thrown indiscriminately so as to provide place for mosquito breeding. Every Panchayath member who is actually paid for his being a member should ensure that there is no mosquito breeding in his or her ward. They should visit the whole area like, plantation, agricultural land etc at least once in three days with a team and motivate the people as well as eradicate water stagnation, and ensure proper waste management and mosquito eradication. Every place where there is a scooter or bike repair shop invariably some tyres will be in the open where water collects and mosquito breeds. These are little things that easily we can do.

    very sad that a P riest also became a victim of apathy from the part of the authorities who failed in taking necessary precautions to contain the spread of Dengue fever. May his soul rest in Peace. Hearty condolences to the breved family.