NEW DELHI: A 31-year-old woman tested positive for Monkeypox in the national capital on Wednesday, taking India's tally to nine.
This is the first case of the disease among women in India. She is under treatment in one of the government hospitals in Delhi.
Earlier on Tuesday, another 35-year-old Nigerian man living in Delhi, with no recent travel history, tested positive for monkeypox. The patient is admitted to Lok Nayak Jaiprakash hospital which comes under the government of Delhi.
India has reported 9 monkeypox cases so far, 5 from Kerala and 4 from Delhi. In the wake of an increase in the number of Monkeypox cases in the country, isolation rooms have been made operational for the treatment of such infections in three central government hospitals, according to sources.
"The isolation rooms for the treatment of Monkeypox patients are operational in three major central government hospitals i.e Safdarjang hospital, RML hospital and Lady Hardinge hospital," official sources told ANI. The Delhi Government issued the official statement on Tuesday on the preparation of isolation rooms in government and private hospitals. The 20 isolation rooms at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, while 10 isolation rooms have been set up in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (GTB) hospital and 10 at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital.
Notably, the Delhi government has also directed private hospitals to create isolation rooms for patients with Monkeypox cases. These three hospitals are Kailash Deepak hospital, East Delhi; MD City Hospital, North Delhi and Batra Hospital and Research Centre, Tughlakabad in South Delhi. India has so far reported 9 Monkeypox cases, of which 5 are from Kerala with a history of international travel and four from Delhi with no recent travel history.
On Monday, the Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry wrote to Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman, Executive Director and IHR focal point in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), requesting him to intensify screening to ensure that persons exhibiting symptoms suggestive of Monkeypox disease are not allowed to board the flight to minimize the risk of disease transmission. In the wake of the rising cases of Monkeypox in the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday assured citizens not to panic and said that an awareness campaign is being run in collaboration with the state governments to prevent the spread of the infection.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday during the ongoing Monsoon session of the Parliament, the Union Minister said, "There is no need to be afraid of Monkeypox, an awareness campaign is being run in collaboration with the state governments: Public awareness is very necessary for the context of Monkeypox. We have also formed a task force under the chairmanship of a member of NITI Aayog on behalf of the Government of India." "On the basis of the observations of the task force, we will assess and study the further action to be taken. If the state government of Kerala needs any kind of help from the Central government, it will be given. Also, an expert team of the Central government is guiding the state government from time to time," he said.
India has reported 9 Monkeypox cases and approximately 100 samples have been tested till August 2, said Dr Pragya Yadav Senior Scientist ICMR-NIV, Pune. "Till now at ICMR NIV Pune and VRDL have tested samples approximate 100 cases as on 2nd August 2022," she added.
Notably, NCDC, Delhi and AIIMS lab has also started testing for Monkeypox as ICMR-NIV is sharing reagents with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and all over the country network of 15 laboratories has started testing. "There are fifteen Virus research and diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs) trained to undertake the diagnostic testing with ICMR -NIV Pune We have shared reagents to NCDC, Delhi also for performing testing. ICMR-NIV, Pune is a nodal center for testing and coordination," said Dr Yadav.