BANGALORE: A 9-year-old girl of Sophia High School, High Grounds, died of suspected dengue in a private hospital here on Sunday night, prompting parents to allege poor hygiene on its campus.
Last week, another 9-year-old girl from the same school died of dengue in a city hospital.
Following complaints from parents of schoolchildren, BBMP officials inspected the premises on Monday. "Discarded paint boxes, stagnant water and flower vases where mosquitoes were breeding were found on the school premises. Instructions have been given to the school principal to attend to the mosquito-breeding sites," the civic body said. It also said fogging and spraying of insecticides have been taken up there.
BBMP also slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 on New Consolidated Construction Company, which is building a commercial complex near the school. "The construction site had too many mosquito breeding spots due to stagnant water," the release said. The inspection team was led by deputy health officer Dr GK Suresh and medical officer (east) Dr SB Nagaraj.
Earlier in the day, parents of several students met the school principal to convey their apprehensions. Over 10 anxious parents were seen waiting at the main gate before they could meet the principal. "School authorities assured us the hygiene will be improved shortly," said a parent on condition of anonymity.
School principal Sr Priscilla told TOI that two students had died of suspected dengue. Hundreds of people are suffering from dengue and it is a coincidence that Sophia students too were among them, she added.
"I will not accept the charge that conditions in the school were responsible for it," she said, adding: "The children go to several places besides the school. Holding the school alone responsible for the deaths is not fair."
She claimed that buckets to keep fire extinguishing sand were filled with water following the rain on Saturday and the BBMP inspection team on Monday claimed it's a mosquito-breeding site.
"We had contacted BBMP about the unhygienic conditions at the neighbouring construction site last month. BBMP staff and told us to take up fogging and spraying insecticide at regular intervals to prevent mosquitoes from breeding," she said. The school is following the prescribed procedure, she added.The Times of India has another Bangalore report, highly critical of the government's handling of the dengue problem.