Every October, the city reporters are on a disease trail and this year has been no different. The Health Department officials go into a tizzy whenever there is a disease outbreak in the city and State. This is the period when the fever wards at government hospitals begin filling up fast, and with a few deaths reported, a large part of the day comprises tracking new admissions, any deaths reported.....
From following up on review meetings to answering calls from the media personnel, they are probably busier than a CEO of a multi-million dollar company. The authorities, on their part, are always armed with the necessary information.
However, when this reporter called up a senior official from the Health Department, she also noticed that apart from having facts and figures at his fingertips, the concerned official took utmost care to ensure reporters are not fed the same information ad nauseam.
“We have been facing a different problem this year,” the official has been saying to the television and print media right from the morning that day. Later, however, the person realised that the same quote was being repeated again and again in different channels and medium, the official decided to improvise it a tiny bit: “Let me put it this way: Last year, the issues included water scarcity and the storage of water. However, this year there has been intermittent rains.”
— Janani Sampath, Chennai