Amid a spike in respiratory illnesses among children in northern China, the government has initiated a review of the preparedness measures to combat such illnesses. The Centre said it is closely monitoring the situation and stressed that there is no need for any alarm.
The Health Ministry has urged States and Union Territories (UTs) to conduct an immediate assessment of their public health and hospital preparedness measures. The directive emphasised the need to ensure adequate availability of human resources, hospital beds, essential medications, medical oxygen, antibiotics, personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and reagents at hospitals.
Additionally, healthcare facilities must ensure the proper functioning of their oxygen plants and ventilators, and meticulously review infection control protocols to prevent the spread of infections, the Health minister said in its directive.
The Health Ministry has advised the implementation of the “Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19”. These guidelines, issued earlier this year, establish a framework for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens, including influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).
It also emphasised monitoring ILI-SARI trends, particularly among children and adolescents, by district and state surveillance units of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). The timely uploading of ILI-SARI data to the IDSP portal, especially from public health institutions, including medical college hospitals, is essential for effective monitoring and outbreak response, it said.