Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Union government has flagged its concern after pneumonia among kids is alarmingly spreading in north China. The Centre on Sunday asked the states to implement revised surveillance strategic operational guidelines (meant for Covid-19 this year) as precautionary measures against influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) at the district and state levels. 

Subsequently, experts and the health authorities in Odisha have assured that there is no need for worry as the health infrastructure of the state government is fully ready to deal with any disease. They have emphasized preparedness and precautions.  

Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said, “The Union Health Ministry in its advisory said there is no need to panic, but all should be alerted. Keeping in view of the second wave of Covid-19, all preparedness was done in all the district and medical colleges. Apart from oxygen, CU and ICU arrangements have been made for children.  We have ample facilities for testing and treatment.”

Health expert Dr Niroj Mishra said that the virus that caused pneumonia among kids in China is not a new virus. “Such viral infections are already known. In winter, such cases grow. Some experts say another wave of influenza will start in the middle of December. But we have to be prepared. The necessary steps to deal with such respiratory cases are precautions.”

Also Read: Preventing influenza among children

He also suggested that 'those elderly people and influenza-affected people have not been immunized, should take it immediately'. “People showing symptoms of fever and cough should not venture out of their house. If you go outside, wear masks and wash hands at regular intervals," said Mishra.

The Union health secretary in his letter to the state government asked to make ready human resources, hospital beds, ventilators, adequate stock of medicines, oxygen, antibiotics, testing kits to deal with ILI and SARI cases. The state authorities have also been to asked to send swabs of the children and adolescents to laboratories for test.

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