Monkeypox: Centre's Key Meet With Top Health Experts Today As Cases Rise

Monkey Latest Updates: Till now, nine monkeypox cases have been reported in India - four from Delhi and five from Kerala, which also reported a fatality on August 1.

By Aalok Sensharma
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 09:12 AM IST
Minute Read
Monkeypox: Centre's Key Meet With Top Health Experts Today As Cases Rise
A healthcare worker inspects a passenger arriving from high risk countries for monkeypox symptoms at Chennai International Airport. (Photo: ANI)

With an increase in monkeypox cases in India, the Centre has called a meeting on Thursday with top doctors and health experts to discuss the situation in the country and how a vaccine can be developed against the viral disease.

According to a report by The Times of India, the meeting will be chaired by L Swasticharan, the director of the Emergency Medical Relief (EMR) in the Union Health Ministry. Dr Pavana Murthy of World Health Organisation (WHO) will also be present in the meeting, the leading English daily reported.

Till now, nine monkeypox cases have been reported in India - four from Delhi and five from Kerala, which also reported a fatality on August 1. With a rise in case, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday released a list of dos and don'ts to avoid contracting the disease.

Among the dos, the Centre said an infected person must remain isolated till he or she recovers as it pushed the use of hand sanitisers and facemasks. It also advised the use of disposable gloves when close to a patient, and using disinfectants to sanitise the environment around.

In its don'ts, the ministry said people must avoid sharing linen, beddings, clothes, towels, among others, with people who have tested positive for the infection. It also advised not to wash soiled linen or laundry of patients and those of non-infected persons together, and avoid public events even if you only exhibit symptoms of the disease.

Meanwhile, the government has also formed a national task force to monitor the development of diagnostics and vaccines. It has also requested the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to intensify screening to ensure that persons exhibiting symptoms suggestive of monkeypox disease are not allowed to board flights to India to minimise the risk of disease transmission.

It must be noted that most of the infected persons in India had recently returned from the UAE.

"It is requested that exit screening of may be further intensified so as to ensure persons exhibiting symptoms suggestive of Monkeypox disease are not allowed to board the flight to minimize the risk of disease transmission," the Centre wrote in its letter to the UAE.

"As the global community grapples with yet another Public Health Emergency of International concern, it is essential that IHR Focal points maintain a continuous coordination and share key information to avoid the spread of disease information across international boundaries," the letter further said.

This came after health experts advised strengthening the surveillance to avoid silent transmission of monkepox. Experts have warned about complications and silent transmission of monkeypox if surveillance is not get strengthened.

"Surveillance is important. To know what is happening around us, we need data. And this can only happen when people screen them and get tested," Dr PS Indu, Professor and Head of Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Kollam told news agency ANI.

"Screening is important, otherwise, the silent transmission can spread and then people will come with complications. All countries have to take action and share data with important information," she added.

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