Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand have put their medical facilities and personnel on high alert following the outbreak of pneumonia in China. The six states issued the alert after Centre’s directive to be prepared and review the readiness of hospital and health centres to tackle any surge in pneumonia cases or respiratory issues, especially among children.
Just like it happened during the outbreak of Covid-19 almost four years ago when China started to report coronavirus cases in November-December 2019, the recent cases of pneumonia in the country are being seen with utmost care and caution. The above-mentioned states, which have issued the alert, have advised people to cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, wash hands frequently, avoid touching the face and wearing masks in crowded places or when they move out of their homes.
In Rajasthan, the Medical and Health Department has established rapid response teams while the medical professionals have been directed to record and report any sudden rise in pneumonia cases. All districts have been asked to be ready with a plan to tackle any health emergency and appoint nodal officers.
The state went to elections recently and there were massive political rallies in the run-up to the voting day on November 27 which, too, saw crowds of people coming out to vote. So, the threat of any infection spreading fast in the state is extremely high.
In neighbouring Gujarat, the state government has asked hospitals and doctors to reactivate the infrastructure created during the Covid pandemic.
Karnataka has asked its residents to not take any seasonal flu or respiratory illness lightly. The state also asked people to follow the directive issued and precautions advised seriously to help contain the potential spread of any such disease.
Tamil Nadu and Haryan have also issued similar advisories.
Uttarakhand’s Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh districts share a border with China and there is a possibility of its residents, especially nomads in the higher reaches coming into contact with Chinese people.
Earlier, the Central government on November 24 issued an advisory for influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illnesses (SARI) cases. The Centre’s advisory talks about both “active and passive surveillance” of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases. Hospitals have also been instructed to ensure an adequate supply of ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, and antiviral medicines and to make arrangements for the isolation of patients, if necessary.