NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry are among the 10 states and Union Territories that will have new diagnostic facilities for testing Zika virus. The facilities that would be in addition to the two existing testing places at the National Centre for Disease Control and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, would become operational by end of February, a senior health ministry official said.
The 10 centres would be located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Assam.
This decision was taken at a high-level meeting held to review the preparedness to tackle any Zika cases in India. The meeting was chaired by Union Health Secretary B P Sharma and attended by other senior officials of the health ministry as well as representatives of the World Health Organisation.
The government has also decided to set up a 24x7 control room for providing information on Zika virus. The numbers of the Control Room are 23061469 and 23063205.
The health ministry has also set up signages informing about the Zika virus disease at 18 international airports. “Informative pamphlets on the disease have been prepared for immigrating passengers,” the official added. The Union Health Ministry had last week issued a travel advisory asking people, specially pregnant women, to cancel non-essential travel to countries affected by Zika.
It also asked states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which are in the midst of a dengue season, to be on extra vigil.