Monkeypox: Telangana health minister asks people to be on alert

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reviewed functioning of health screening of international travellers arriving in India at airports and ports

Hyderabad: In the wake of two confirmed cases of Monkeypox in neighbouring Kerala, Telangana Health Minister Harish Rao on Monday asked the people to be vigilant of the virus.

So far not a single case has been registered in Telangana.

Finance and Health Minister T Harish Rao held a video conference from IIFH, Vengal Rao Nagar with the doctors of DME and TVVP on Monday.

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In view of cases of Monkeypox being reported in the country, the meeting was to create awareness about the symptoms, tests, identification and treatment of the disease.

T Harish Rao said, “There is no need to worry about Monkeypox cases but it is advised to be vigilant. Although about 1,20,000 cases have been registered in more than 60 countries, only two cases have been registered in Kerala. So far not a single case has been reported in Telangana. The state didn’t even witness any suspect either.”

The minister said that even though no cases have been registered, the medical and health department is fully alert about monkeypox.

On Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s orders, Minister said they are studying the disease which is being reported in different countries and keeping updated about WHO and ICMR guidelines.

“Apart from setting up a special centre for diagnosis at Gandhi Hospital, Fever Hospital has been designated as a nodal hospital for immediate treatment of suspected cases. Necessary arrangements have been made,” Minister Harish Rao said.

He said that RTPCR tests will be done in Gandhi and the samples will be sent to the lab in Pune for confirmation of the positive strain.

The minister suggested that all the doctors should increase their awareness about the symptoms, tests and treatment of monkeypox and explain it to the field-level staff.

Rao said, “As soon as the suspected symptoms related to the virus are identified, samples should be collected from the victims and tests should be done.”

“If any symptoms are observed, they should go to the nearest government hospital immediately and undergo basic tests,” he added.

He further advised People to contact 04024651119, 9030227324 for seasonal diseases, Monkeypox, vaccination, health details and advice in flood-affected areas.

Beware of seasonal diseases, in view of rains and floods, seasonal diseases are likely to increase, the Health Minister, directed doctors have been advised to be alert in all hospitals for ten days in the coming week.

“If necessary, OP time should be increased to provide necessary medical services to the people. In all the hospitals, the superintendents should check the problems from time to time and solve them immediately. Ensure that patients get good medical services”, the Health Minister said.

The Minister said that the Telangana diagnostic centres should work 24 hours and steps should be taken to give the results as quickly as possible.

The Minister informed that Diet and sanitation tenders have been completed in almost all hospitals and asked to ensure that a good diet and sanitation process is done properly. He directed to set up boards displaying the new diet menu in every hospital.

The number of medicines in AML/EML has been increased to 843 and the superintendents have been instructed to ensure that medicines are not prescribed outside. PG and SR should be informed about the list of new medicines, Minister added.

Speaking on COVID booster doses, he said, “Boosters should be given to all deserving. A booster dose should be provided to those who are over 18 years and completed six months after taking the second dose.”

In view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in many states, the Telangana Health Minister called for a campaign to make people aware of the booster dose availability.

He directed officials to speed up the vaccination process by taking the help of local public representatives.

After India reported two monkeypox cases, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday reviewed the functioning of health screening of international travellers arriving in India at airports and ports.

The meeting was attended by Airport and Port Health Officers (APHOs/PHOs) and Regional Directors from Regional Offices of Health & Family Welfare.

All the officials were advised to ensure strict health screening of all arriving international travellers which can minimize the risk of importation of monkeypox cases into the country.

They were advised and re-oriented in the clinical presentation of monkeypox disease as per MoHFW’s ‘Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease’.

They were also advised to coordinate with other stakeholder agencies like Immigration at international ports and airports to streamline health screening processes besides ensuring suitable linkages with hospital facilities earmarked to each port of entry for timely referral and isolation.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials from International Health Division, and Disaster Management Cell.

On Monday, India reported the second confirmed monkeypox case from Kerala’s Kannur district.

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