Centre has formed a task force monitoring the situation across the country, as well as offer guidance to the government and assess vaccination opportunities.
The move came following an official meeting between the Cabinet secretary, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Additional Secretary (PMO) and several more senior officials, as India has registered four Monkeypox infection cases and one death by now.
“The team will be headed by Dr VK Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog and members including Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Pharma and Biotech’, sources reported.
Currently, Health Minister Veena George ordered an inquiry on the death reported in Kerala.
“A high-level inquiry will be conducted into the death of a person with symptoms of monkeypox in Chavakkad Kuranjiyur. The result of the test conducted in a foreign country was positive. He sought treatment in Thrissur.
“Delay in seeking treatment will be investigated. The health department called a meeting in Punnayur regarding the death of a young man due to monkeypox. A contact list and route map of the deceased youth were prepared”, the Health Minister said.
At the same time, contact persons were advised to isolate themselves.
As the number of cases in other countries is also on the rise, NITI Aayog’s member Dr. V. K. Paul urges people to remain vigilant, not to panic and reassures them that the country’s health officials are currently taking all necessary measures to control the spreading of the disease.
“There is no need to panic, as of now, but one must report in time if they spot any symptoms”, Dr. Paul declared.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that more than 18,000 cases have been reported so far by 78 countries worldwide.
“The monkeypox outbreak can be stopped if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups”, WHO’s Director General recently commented.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease similar to smallpox, endemic for West and Central Africa, that continues to spread across non-endemic countries and has already been declared a global health emergency by international authorities.