NEW DELHI: A day after the national capital reported its first monkeypox case, the government on Monday issued guidelines to curb the disease by making it “mandatory” for all health facilities across the city to notify any suspected case to the district surveillance unit and refer it to the Lok Nayak Hospital, said officials.
A 31-year-old man with no foreign travel history was diagnosed with the disease on Sunday. He was in Manali for a stag party and after coming back to Delhi, he got symptoms such as fever and rashes.
“It is mandatory for all health facilities to notify any suspected case of monkeypox to the District Surveillance Unit concerned and must be referred and isolated at the reserved ward of Lok Nayak Hospital,” an order issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) read.
The Delhi government on Monday asked district authorities and officials concerned to adhere to the Centre's guidelines on management of the infection, which also state that referral arrangements from airport/port to identified link hospital need to be established or strengthened.
The sources said that those travellers having symptoms like high fever, back pain and joint pain at the IGI Airport will be sent to the isolation ward at LNJP Hospital, which has a special 20-member team to deal with such patients.
The samples of suspected patients will be sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, while the district administration will quarantine the family members and carry out contact tracing of such suspected patients, they said.
"Reviewed the monkeypox situation in Delhi along with CS, Secy Health, DGHS & others concerned. Was apprised of preparedness in terms of medical services, hospital infrastructure, tracing, testing, surveillance & clinical management. Advised officials to ensure all preventive measures. I appeal to the people to not panic and follow all prescribed prevention and treatment protocols," Saxena said in a series of tweets.
In the first reported case of monkeypox in Delhi, a 34-year-old person from west Delhi was found infected.
He is currently in LNJP Hospital and will take at least a week to fully recover.
The airport health teams currently screen patients with suspected Covid-19 symptoms and some symptoms of the two infections are similar, the sources said, adding that no decision has been taken yet on increasing surveillance at the airport.
It added that the union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has released comprehensive guidelines to manage the disease detailing the public health preparedness and response measures to detect cases.
The guidelines were circulated among all district surveillance units and hospitals on June 1 as well as on July 15.
“All district surveillance units should ensure to enhance health facilities-based surveillance for monkeypox followed by required community-based interventions,” the order read. Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus with symptoms similar to smallpox, but less severe.
According to the doctors, mode of transmission is close, skin to skin and intimate contact.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday called on countries in the South-East Asia Region to strengthen surveillance and public health measures for monkeypox, with the disease being declared a public health emergency.
So far, more than 16,000 cases have been reported from 75 countries across the world. The Delhi government’s public health department held a high-level review meeting to discuss about monkeypox on Sunday afternoon.
L-G calls for sticking to Centre’s protocol
NEW DELHI: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinay K Saxena on Monday tweeted that he too has reviewed the monkeypox situation in the national capital along with chief secretary Naresh Kumar, principal secretary, health and DGHS, among others.
Saxena also appealed to people to not panic and follow all prescribed prevention and treatment protocols through his official Twitter handle.
“I was apprised of preparedness in terms of medical services, hospital infrastructure, tracing, testing, surveillance and clinical management by the government. Advised officials to ensure all preventive measures,” he said in a tweet.
After the Delhi case was confirmed, the Delhi government’s public health department held a high-level review meeting on monkeypox on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also confirmed that the disease was detected in the city, while asserting that there’s no need to panic.
(With PTI Inputs)