India Heightens Surveillance as Mysterious Pneumonia Outbreak in China Sparks Global Concerns

New Delhi: Amid rising concerns over a surge in a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China, the Indian government has directed all states and union territories to report cases of serious respiratory illnesses among children and adolescents at the district level. This move is seen as a precautionary measure, leveraging lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given India’s proximity to China and the potential for cross-border transmission, the government is intensifying vigilance, utilizing the existing surveillance system developed during the COVID-19 era. The Union health secretary, Sudhansh Pant, has urged states to monitor respiratory illnesses through Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) units.

Health authorities are emphasizing the importance of uploading data on influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) on the IDSP- IHIP portal, with a particular focus on cases among children and adolescents. Additionally, states are urged to send nasal and throat swab samples to Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories for testing respiratory pathogens.

In a letter to states, Sudhansh Pant highlighted that these proactive measures are essential to counter any potential situation and ensure the safety of citizens. The government is keen on preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses and is taking collaborative steps to safeguard public health.

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