The union health ministry on Tuesday said that as on date, there is no confirmed or even suspected case of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in India.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 1848 cases including 1013 death due to Ebola Virus Disease, as on August 9. The affected countries are Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in western Africa.
A 28-year-old male traveller from Nigeria manifesting symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Saturday was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for observation in the morning of Sunday. He has been tested negative for EVD in tests done at National institute of Virology, Pune and National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.
The cabinet secretary took a meeting on Tuesday with secretaries and senior officers of ministries of health, civil aviation, home affairs, external affairs and information & broadcasting to review preparedness of the government on EVD, the statement said.
“There is no reason for getting worried over the odd case of a visitor to the country arriving in an indisposed condition. We have all the mechanisms in place for prompt treatment and subsequent monitoring,” Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.
The two passengers who reached Chennai on Saturday — a 27-year-old-male who travelled from Guinea and a 40-year-old-male who travelled from Liberia — are in good health and they are under observation, according to an official statement issued on Monday.
Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday (August 10) denied reports in some media of a “suspect case” of EVD in Chennai. “The department of health, Government of Tamil Nadu, has informed the central government that a person had indeed landed at Chennai airport from Guinea on August 9. He was checked for symptoms and was found healthy. However, the health authorities of the state are monitoring his health,” he said.
WHO had informed that one Indian passenger had travelled on the same flight in which Ebola virus patient (foreign national) was travelling from Monrovia to Lagos. This Indian passenger is back in India. He has been tracked and his health is being regularly monitored. “We are happy to share that the said person is healthy, fit and fine,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.
On August 8 (Friday), WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern after an abnormal rise in the incidence of the dreaded infection this year. Within hours the union health ministry unravelled its advanced surveillance and tracking system. A 24-hour helpline (011 – 23063205, 23061469 and 23061302) was also opened, which has been functional since Saturday.
In New Delhi, the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has been identified for treatment and management of any case of EVD.
The health ministry was alerted by WHO about a traveller who landed in New Delhi on July 20 as a confirmed case of EVD. He was later traced to Dwarka in South-West Delhi and was found to be healthy.
Source: India Medical Times