There have been requests for hospitals and healthcare staff to ensure that they are prepared to deal with patients who are complaining of respiratory problems in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu.
As a result of a surge in respiratory illnesses among children in China, at least six states have placed their health infrastructure on alert mode. Hospitals and healthcare staff have been asked in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Tamil Nadu to ensure they are prepared to deal with respiratory complaints.
Karnataka’s health department has also warned citizens about seasonal flu. As well as describing the symptoms and risk factors of seasonal flu, the advisory also highlights what to do and what not to do. In crowded areas, masks should be worn when coughing or sneezing, hands should be washed frequently, and people should avoid touching their faces.
As per the Rajasthan health department’s advisory, the situation is “not worrisome at the moment” but medical staff should keep vigil and prevent infectious diseases from spreading. Pediatric units and medicine departments should make adequate arrangements, according to the report.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gujarat’s Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said the state’s healthcare infrastructure was being strengthened as a precaution. Government officials have been asked to review their readiness by the state government.
Health officials in Uttarakhand have been directed to increase surveillance for respiratory illnesses. The Chinese border is shared by three districts of Uttarakhand: Chamoli, Uttarkashi, and Pithoragarh.
There has been a directive from the Haryana health department stating that any clustering of unusual respiratory illnesses must be reported immediately to public and private hospitals.
Tamil Nadu’s state health department is taking steps to improve preparedness in both government-run and private hospitals.
As a precautionary measure, the state health department said it has not yet reported any cases of child pneumonia.
This follows an advisory from the Union Health Ministry asking states to assess their preparedness to handle emerging situations. According to the Union Health Ministry, the situation is not alarming, and it is closely monitored.
As part of the ‘Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19’, shared earlier this year, all states and union territories are advised to follow it. “In a statement, the ministry said it would implement integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illnesses (SARI).
After Covid-19 spread in the country and became a pandemic that changed the world four years ago, a surge in respiratory illness cases has raised concern in northern China, particularly among children.
As AFP reports, Chinese health authorities say the rising infections are linked to the country’s first full cold season after strict Covid curbs were lifted last December.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the new situation, experts do not believe the cases were caused by a new virus.
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