Zika virus outbreak: The Prime Minister’s Office has sought a detailed report from the Union Health ministry after it informed of the detection of “22 positive laboratory confirmed cases” in Rajasthan’s capital city of Jaipur. In a press release put out on Monday, the government said that it has taken extensive surveillance and vector control measures to fight the situation. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has also taken note of the situation and is closely monitoring it and has sought a report on the prevailing situation in Rajasthan and other parts of the country following the confirmation of Zika cases.
The Health Ministry said that the government has activated a control room at the National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi to monitor the situation. Also, pregnant women are being monitored through the National Health Mission regularly.
It said that although a high-level central team is placed in Jaipur to oversee the situation, a new high-level team comprising experts have been constituted. The director general health services (DGHS)-headed team has met twice so far to review the preparedness to fight the situation.
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The ministry added that the situation is being monitored at the Ministry and Secretary (Health) level daily.
“The disease continues to be on disease surveillance radars of Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern vide WHO notification since 18th November, 2016,” it said.
“Extensive surveillance and vector control measures are being taken up. The state (Rajasthan) government has been supplied information, education and communication (IEC) material to create awareness about the disease and its prevention strategies,” the Ministry said.
Besides Rajasthan, the Bihar government has also issued an advisory to all health authorities across the 38 districts. The advisory was issued after a man who arrived in Siwan from Jaipur to appear for an exam tested positive for Zikar virus. He stayed with his family members for around 15 days between August 28 and September 12. His family members have also been kept under surveillance by the health experts.
In India, the first Zika virus case was reported in February 2017 from Ahmedabad and second in July from Tamil Nadu. At that time, both the cases were successfully contained through vector measures. According to the Health Ministry, the disease has been reported by 86 countries worldwide.