**Bhubaneswar:** With the dengue situation in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Keonjhar district continuing to worsen with the rapid increase in the number of patients and the killer disease having claimed its first ever death on Thursday from the district, State Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak on Friday took stock of the situation at Cuttack SCB Medical College and Hospital, Keonjhar DHH and Barbil CHC.
A special ward has been opened at the Cuttack SCB besides the two other medical college and hospitals at Berhampur and Burla.
Even special dengue wards have also been opened in the Keonjhar District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) and Barbil Community Health Centre (CHC) as the district has been worst affected.
Notably, one dengue patient Sukramani Sandil of Colony No 8 in Barbil town died on Thursday being the first ever deceased claimed by the deadly disease.
Sandil was undergoing treatment in the Barbil hospital.
State Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak informed that 426 blood samples have been tested positive while 36 patients have been admitted to Cuttack SCB, one in the intensive care unit (ICU).
The Health Minister said that a state level committee is taking sincere measures to control the situation.
A state level team has already been dispatched to Keonjhar besides a special ward already opened at Cuttack SCB Medical College and Hospital looked after by a team of doctors headed by a senior specialist there.
Free blood, free drugs and free treatment will be provided to the patients affected, the Minister informed.
In a bid to stop further spreading of dengue, the district administrations of Cuttack, Keonjhar and Bhadrak have initiated efforts to spread awareness among people by advising them to keep their surroundings clean.