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Lack of hygiene big fear in India


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CNN's Ram Ramgopal
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(CNN) -- Hundreds of thousand -- possibly millions -- of people in southern India are flocking to relief camps, CNN's Ram Ramgopal reports.

Ramgopal talked Sunday to CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer about developments in southern Indian.

RAMGOPAL: The big challenge here is the relief camps; hundreds upon thousands -- and perhaps even millions -- of people are trying to flock into these relief camps set up by the government. Certainly, the big concern for authorities here is to ensure that the hygiene conditions in these camps do not deteriorate to the point where disease becomes a reality.

The doctors working in these camps have been trying to basically ensure that anybody there who wants to take a shot, or in some instances must necessarily take a shot (is able to). They're trying to ensure that clean drinking water, as well as water for washing, are in adequate supply, because, as you know, Wolf, this is one of the big concerns.

But so far the good news is that there have been no epidemics, at least, certainly in these camps that we have visited. But authorities say it's still too early to tell, because even in a matter of hours, things can change very rapidly.

BLITZER: And so, what you're saying, the medical supplies, the medical professionals -- has the Indian government moved quickly enough to bring all this equipment and personnel to the region, Ram?

RAMGOPAL: It certainly appears to be so.

Initially, when we got here a couple of days ago, it appeared a little more chaotic. But certainly, in the last two days, certainly yesterday and the day before yesterday, we were at a couple of these camps, it appears that they are definitely moving quite rapidly.

The army is out, army doctors. There are private doctors. There are a number of volunteers. It appears that certainly the medical supplies are on the ground, as are water and other basic needs. But hygiene continues to be a big concern.


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