China respiratory illness outbreak: Centre asks states to review public health preparedness

Centre asks States and UTs to implement revised Covid-19 surveillance strategies

China illness outbreak (File) An ambulance leaves a children's hospital in Beijing, China | Reuters

 The Centre on Sunday advised states and union territories to review health preparedness against the backdrop of respiratory illness outbreak in China. The Union health ministry has also advised states to implement the ‘Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19’.

“In view of the recent reports indicating a surge in respiratory illness in children in northern China in the recent weeks, the Union Health Ministry has proactively decided to review the preparedness measures against respiratory illnesses, as a matter of abundant caution,” the release said. The Union government they were closely monitoring the situation and “ there is no need for any alarm”.

Centre asked states and union territories to review public health preparedness. “States and UTs have been advised to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness measures viz. availability of HR, hospital beds, drugs and vaccines for influenza, medical oxygen, antibiotics, personal protective equipment, testing kits and reagents, functionality of oxygen plants and ventilators, infection control practices in health facilities, at a senior level,” it said. 

Centre said, “All States have been advised to implement ‘Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19’, shared earlier this year, which provides for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).” It added, “They have also been asked to ensure that the trends of ILI/SARI should be closely monitored by the district and state surveillance units of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), particularly of children and adolescents.”

Centre said the cumulative effect of these proactive measures could prevent any potential situation. “Information shared by WHO has indicated an increase in respiratory illness in northern parts of China. As per WHO, the release of Covid-19 restrictions coinciding with the onset of winter season in addition to cyclical trend of respiratory illnesses such as Mycoplasma pneumonia have led to this surge. While WHO has sought additional information from Chinese authorities, it is assessed that there is no cause for any alarm at the moment,” the release said. 


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