The central government on Wednesday urged states to launch a mass awareness and immunisation campaign starting April 1 following 46 deaths due to Hepatitis B virus infection in Gujarat.
Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said till Monday about 140 cases of Hepitities B positive cases were detected and 46 deaths were reported in Sabarkantha district of the state in the past two weeks.
He said the Gujarat government has already launched a massive immunisation drive against the life threatening liver infection virus outbreak.
"They have already immunised 65,000 people and have also launched an awareness campaign," Ramadoss told reporters at the inauguration of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital here.
The health minister said they are also popularising the benefits of the auto-disabled syringes in the country to ensure that such infection do not recur.
"We have sent circulars to all state governments urging them to launch an immunisation and mass awareness campaign starting April 1," he said.
He said a team from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Director General of Health Services and All India Institute of Medical Sciences were working in Gujarat and are helping the state government to take control of the situation.
"The aim now is to find the source of this infection," he said.
He also said the state government has filed an FIR against eight doctors for negligence of the hepatitis-B outbreak. Three were arrested for using unsterilised and used syringes that was considered to be the cause of the outbreak.