Monday, June, 17,2024

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Union Health Secy writes to States, UTs over rising H1N1, H2N3 cases

New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to the States and Union Territories on Saturday expressed his concerns over the rising trend in other Influenza-like Illnesses & Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses (ILIs/SARIs) being witnessed in some States/UTs across the country.
In the letter Bhushan said that it is important to raise community awareness regarding adherence to respiratory and hand hygiene, promoting early reporting of symptoms, and limiting the contact of those people who are suffering from respiratory illness. "In the present season, a variety of weather conditions and behavioural reasons (like less than adequate attention to personal hygiene, sneezing and coughing without proper protection in close proximity of other people, closed indoor gatherings of people, etc.) make the environment conducive to the circulation of a number of viral respiratory pathogens like Influenza A (H1N1, H3N2 etc.), Adenoviruses, etc," said Bhushan in the letter.
He added that special care should be taken in the case of young children, old age people and people suffering from co-morbidities who are particularly at risk and vulnerable to H1N1, H3N2, Adenoviruses, etc.
Bhushan also added that the gradual rise in COVID-19 test positivity rates in some States is a concerning issue that needs to be promptly addressed.
"Despite the low number of new cases, equally low number of hospitalisations and significant advances made in terms of COVID-19 vaccination coverage, there is still a need to remain vigilant and focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour," Bhushan said.
"In order to limit transmission of these diseases, it is important to raise community awareness regarding adherence to respiratory and hand hygiene, promoting early reporting of symptoms, and limiting the contact of those people who are suffering from respiratory illness," Bhushan mentioned in his letter.
Bhushan also instructed the States/District Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) units to monitor the proportion of SARI cases among all ILI& SARI cases in their respective areas, and refer the sufficient number of samples for testing for Influenza, SARS-COV-2 and Adenovirus.
"It would also be useful to take a stock of hospital preparedness including drugs, medical equipment, medical oxygen, etc., capacity building of human resources on existing guidelines as well as vaccination coverage against COVID-19 and Influenza," added Bhushan.
Finally, Bhushan added that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare will continue to closely follow the evolving situation and shall provide all required assistance if needed. (ANI)

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