NEW DELHI :
THE Union Health Ministry has
advised States to immediately
review public health preparedness in view of recent
reports indicating a surge in respiratory illness in children in
In a statement on Sunday,the
ministry said it has decided to
proactively review preparatorymeasures against respiratory illnessesasa matter of abundant caution.
“This is noted to be important in view of the ongoing
influenza and winter season
that results in an increase in
respiratory illness cases.
Government of India is closely monitoring the situation and
indicated thatthere is no need
for any alarm,” it said.
In a letter to all States and
Union Territories, the Union
Health Secretary has advised
them to immediately review
public health and hospital preparedness such as availability
ofbeds, drugs and vaccines for
influenza, medical oxygen,
antibiotics, personal protective equipment,testing kits and
reagents, functionality of oxygen plants and ventilators, and
infection control practices.
The State authorities have
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
They have also been asked
to ensure that the trends of ILI
and SARI, particularly among
children and adolescents, are
closely monitored by the district and state surveillanceunits
of the Integrated Disease
Surveillance Project (IDSP).
The data of ILI/SARI is
required to be uploaded on the
The state authorities have
been asked to send nasal and
and adolescents, to the Virus
Research and Diagnostic
Laboratories fortesting for respiratory pathogens.
The cumulative effect of
implementation of these precautionary and proactive collaborative measures is expected to counter any potential situation and ensure the safety
and well-being of the citizens.
by the WHO has indicated anincrease in respiratory illness in northern parts of China.This is predominantly attributed to usual causes such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumoniaand SARS-CoV-2.
According to the WHO, therelease of COVID-19 restrictionscoinciding with the on set of winter season in addition to cyclical trend of respiratory illnesses such as mycoplasmapneumonia have led to thissurge.
While the WHO has sought additional information from the Chinese authorities, it isassessed thatthere is no causefor any alarm at the moment,
the ministry said.