New Delhi, August 2
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Rajya Sabha today that eight monkeypox cases had been detected in the country and the government was working to prevent its spread. He said five of these had a history of international travel.
An African national, 35, with no recent travel history, is the eighth case in the country and the third in Delhi. Of the eight cases, five are in Kerala and three in Delhi. Two more suspected patients were admitted to a Delhi isolation facility. Mandaviya said as five patients had been to Dubai and Sharjah, the government sought the UAE’s coordination on the issue.
“Some passengers take paracetamol and are not detected by thermal scanners at airports. So we have asked the UAE to let us know of the history of India-bound passengers,” Health Minister Mandaviya said.
The minister said the disease was not very risky and could be prevented through contact-tracing and isolation. He said a task force had been formed under NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul to monitor the situation.
“We are keeping a close watch on the situation. The guidelines for monkeypox management were issued on May 31, much before India detected its first case in Kerala on July 14 and the WHO declared it a global emergency,” Mandaviya said.
During the question hour in the Rajya Sabha, Kerala MP Jose Mani said the NIV, Pune, was taking a week to return samples, which was a long time. So far, 18,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in 78 countries. Six persons have died worldwide, including one in India. The minister said even the WHO had discouraged countries from mass vaccination for monkeypox, a self-limiting disease, and had asked for a case-to-case evidence-based vaccination among high-risk groups.
5 in Kerala, 3 Delhi
- Of the eight cases, five are in Kerala and three in Delhi
- Two more suspected patients were admitted to a Delhi isolation facility
- As five patients had been to Dubai and Sharjah, govt has sought UAE’s coordination
6 Delhi hospitals to have isolation rooms
- Delhi has ordered six govt hospitals to create 70 isolation rooms for management of suspected, confirmed monkeypox cases
- Lok Nayak Hospital has been asked to create 20 isolation rooms — 10 each for suspect and confirmed cases
- Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Kailash Deepak Hospital, MD City Hospital and Batra Hospital have been told to create 10 rooms each
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