Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 30
The WHO India office today flagged to the Health Ministry the recent issue of late reporting of Zika virus to the world body.
The WHO received outbreak information from India on May 15, nearly five-and-a-half months after the first confirmed Zika case in Ahmedabad’s Bapunagar in November 2016.
WHO India representative Henk Bekedam met a senior health official today to discuss the issue with India, which has meanwhile urged the WHO to make a correction in its India Zika outbreak alert that had erroneously mentioned the first confirmed case test in February 2016. “The case was detected in February 2017 and not February 2016.”
Asked about late reporting of Zika by India, Bekedam sought to officially defend the government, saying: “Zika virus disease was not unexpected in India.” He was answering a query on countries often attempting to conceal public health information as China did with SARS by reporting it late.
Seeking to draw a distinction between late reporting of SARS by China and that of Zika by India, Bekedam said: “When SARS started we didn’t know what it was. We know what Zika is. It was not unexpected to find Zika in India.”
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