Plaguing the question
The plague mystery still foxes the high level technical advisory committee constituted by the Centre. In its 7 page interim report, the committee headed by V Ramalingaswamy, former director general of health, has stated that the isolating of Yersinia pestis from humans through DNA fingerprinting has confirmed that it was the plague that hit Gujarat last year.
But contrary to the health ministry's claims that the investigations were progressing, the committee is yet to deliver its verdict on the Beed and Delhi incidences. In the case of Delhi, the committee says it has not been given samples for study. It is also yet to ascertain the source of infection in humans, the extent of plague infection in reservoir animal species and the potential for recurrence.
The committee has, in the meanwhile, strongly recommended active surveillance, not just in Surat and Beed, but also in other potentially endemic zones.