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Kerala Government Intensifies Battle Against Monkeypox, Holds Talks With Central Team

The Health Department of Kerala observing people with chicken pox or similar symptoms in order to ensure that they do not have monkeypox

Kerala Government Intensifies Battle Against Monkeypox, Holds Talks With Central Team
Kerala health department plans to test random samples to ascertain whether anyone else was infected with Monkeypox
  • India's first case of monkeypox in Kerala was confirmed on July 14
  • The first case is that of a Keralite who returned from the UAE on July 12
  • 11 co-passengers of the patient are under observation

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has intensified the monkeypox preventive measures in the State in the wake of the first case confirmed in the country, State Health Minister Veena George said on Saturday (July 16) after a discussion with the Central team which came here to assess the situation. The Minister said the Health Department is also observing those with chicken pox or similar symptoms in order to ensure that they do not have monkeypox. She said random samples would be tested to ascertain whether anyone else was infected.

Also Read: Emergency Nature Of Monkeypox Requires Intense Response Efforts: WHO

The surveillance at the airport will be intensified. As part of it, the Health Department will hold discussions with the airport authorities. If anyone found with symptoms, steps will be taken to isolate them and ambulances have been arranged to shift them to hospitals, Minister said in a release.

She said training for monkeypox prevention is being held in a comprehensive manner and till now over 1,200 health workers have been trained.

The health condition of the patient who was confirmed with the infection is stable. No one else has been diagnosed with the disease yet. All his contacts are under observation. The Health Department is constantly in touch with his contacts and speaks to them twice a day over phone to enquire about their mental and physical health, the Minister said.

She said the Central team held discussion with her and the health officials as well. They included the principal secretary, the public health officials. They visited the patient at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.

MoHFW advisor Dr P Ravindran, Joint Director of NCDC (National Centre for Disease Control) Dr Sanket Kulkarni, Dr Anuradha from RML Hospital, New Delhi, dermatologist Dr. Akhilesh Thoke and public health specialist Dr Ruchi Jain are part of the team.

The country’s first case of monkeypox in Kerala was confirmed on Thursday through the testing of the samples of the symptomatic person at the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

The first case is that of a Keralite who returned from the UAE on July 12.

All his contacts were identified and 11 of his co-passengers, his family members, an auto-driver, a taxi driver and a dermatologist of a private hospital, where the infected person sought treatment first, are under observation.

A special alert has been issued to five districts as people from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kottayam were co-passengers of the infected person on the Sharjah-Thiruvananthapuram Indigo flight that landed here on July 12.

Also Read: Monkeypox Outbreak A Public Health Emergency Of Global Concern: World Health Network

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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