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Saturday, July 30, 2005

The threat of an epidemic

PTI reports that an Air India Boeing 747 skidded on the runway in Mumbai this morning and overshot it. Luckily, there were no casualties. Flights out of the city have been suspended. However, Mumbai's residents still have loads to worry about: the BMC, fearing an epidemic of diseases, has issued a red alert, with the following set of instructions:
• Diseases to look out for are diarrhoea, dysentery, leptospirosis and typhoid

• Water should be filtered and boiled before drinking. Once the water starts boiling, continue boiling it for at least 10 minutes.

If required, chlorine tablets should be used for disinfecting water. They are available at municipal ward offices, health posts and dispensaries

• Do not eat exposed food

• Don’t self-prescribe medication. Though a dose of doxycycline is advisable to prevent leptospirosis, consult a doctor. Irregular use of antibiotics can have side effects

• In case of fever, go to municipal dispensaries, health posts or hospitals for treatment. Do not postpone treatment

• Do not walk around in stagnant water. Use gumboots for protection from contaminated water. If there is contact with stagnant water, then wash up immediately

• Keep the area around your house clean.

• In case of emergencies like landslides, floods, contaminated water in water taps, no water supply, contact: Control room: 108 or 22632315.
The BMC has also asked tabela owners to remove the carcasses of the 700 dead buffaloes still on the roads - 549 have already been removed. Meanwhile, India Inc has spoken out against the city administration and the state government, and has termed the aspiration to model Mumbai after Shanghai as "a cruel joke."