Delhi health department issues advisory on flu, Covid-19
Several states in India are currently witnessing a steep rise in influenza infections, with cases also being reported from the national capital
Delhi health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that all hospitals and government healthcare centres have been directed to keep a close watch on the influenza (H3N2) and Covid-19 situation in the Capital and alert authorities if an early trend of spike is noticed.
Addressing the media on Friday, Bharadwaj said that while influenza cases have two major cycles—one in the month of February and March and other after monsoon—when infections tend to peak every year, this year the intensity of the disease is more severe among patients with prior history of severe Covid-19 infection.
“Due to weather changes, the risk of the H3N2 influenza virus has started increasing in many states of the country. Although not many cases of this virus have been reported in the government hospitals of Delhi, the government is fully prepared to deal with any situation,” Bharadwaj said.
Several states in India are currently witnessing a steep rise in influenza infections, with cases also being reported from the national capital. On Wednesday, the union health ministry wrote to six states directing state-level authorities to follow a risk assessment-based approach to handle the spread.
The ministry on Wednesday advised Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Telangana, Kerala, and Karnataka to increase testing, treating, vaccinating and tracking rising viral infections, including Covid-19.
“There are few states which are reporting higher number of cases indicating possible localised spread of infection and there is a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach to prevent & contain the infection, without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic,” union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in the letter.
Bharadwaj said that there is no need to panic, but it is imperative to remain vigilant. He said that senior citizens, especially people aged 65 years and above, children under five years of age, and those suffering from respiratory diseases need to be a little more cautious to avoid any complications from the infection.
“To prevent the spread of influenza, avoid going to crowded places, do not touch items in public places, if coughing or sneezing, wash your hands regularly,” the minister said.
He added that in the coming days the government will raise awareness amongst people through advertisements in newspapers and radio to prevent the spread of the virus.