Amid the rise in respiratory illness among children in China, at least six states in India are on alert mode. This comes after Centre’s directive to review readiness in view of the surge abroad. Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Tamil Nadu have reportedly asked hospitals and healthcare staff to ensure preparedness to tackle patients complaining of respiratory issues.
Karnataka has also asked its residents to be aware of the seasonal flu, while listing symptoms, risk factors of seasonal flu, and dos and don’ts.
The citizens have been advised to cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, wash hand frequently, avoid touching the face and wearing masks in crowded spots.
Local reports stated that the advisory issued by Rajasthan health department said the situation is “not worrisome at present” but the medical staff should keep vigil and prevent spread of infectious diseases.
Rajasthan added that adequate arrangements should be made in paediatric units and medicine departments.
In Rajasthan’s neighbourhood, Gujarat health minister Rushikesh Patel said the healthcare infrastructure created during the Covid-19 pandemic was being strengthened as a precautionary measure in view of the China situation. The government has asked officials to review their readiness.
Uttarakhand health officials have been directed to step up surveillance for cases of respiratory illnesses as three districts of Uttarakhand — Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh — share borders with China.
The Haryana health department’s directive read that any “clustering of unusual respiratory illness” in public or private hospitals must be reported immediately.
Tamil Nadu too has been taking steps to boost preparedness. It has shot off a similar order to government-run and private hospitals.
A statement by the state health department said that while the state has not reported any child pneumonia cases yet, officials have been asked to keep vigil as a precautionary measure.
The Centre on November 24 stated that India is prepared for any kind of exigency that may emerge from the current influenza situation in China and it is monitoring the outbreak of H9N2 and clusters of respiratory illness in children in that country.