4. Mr. MILNE
asked the Under-Secretary for State for India if he will give the House any further information regarding the outbreak of plague in the Punjab?
§ Mr. RICHARDS
With my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate the reply, which is somewhat long, in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the reply:
§ The Government of India have reported that 11 districts out of the 29 in the Punjab are infected, and that the mortality from the 1st January to the end of March is estimated at 38,000, including 25,000 deaths in March. Figures for the first two weeks of April have not yet been received, but in the week ending 19th April there were 12,393 deaths. The epidemic is less severe than in 1902, 1904, 1905, 1907 and 1915, but has assumed alarming proportions. The measures taken are chiefly directed towards inoculation and disinfection. Funds have been provided for additional staff in each infected district and for the adequate supply of plague vaccine. A vigorous inoculation campaign has been undertaken and resulted in 30,000 inoculations weekly for a considerable period. The total number of inoculations to the 19th April was over 236,000, which is a greater number than in any previous year since 1903. Conditions will favour a decline of the epidemic in the present month. A decline had set in in the Southern Punjab by the middle of April.