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Gujarat CM downplays concerns over keeping Zika infection report under wraps

After a WHO report said that India’s first cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus was detected in Ahmedabad in 2016-17, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani sought to ally fears of the spread of the disease.

india Updated: May 28, 2017 19:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Zika virus,WHO,Gujarat
In August 24, 2016 file photo, Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae swim in a container at the Florida Mosquito Control District Office in Marathon.(AP)

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday turned to damage control mode after having kept the Zika outbreak report in Ahmedabad under wraps for over a year.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had reported on Saturday about the ZIka infections in 2016-17.

Rupani tried to play down the scare saying the cases were reported a long time ago and his government took the measures to check the spread of the dreaded virus in the state.

“The government has taken all the precautions to deal with the issue. These cases came to light a long time ago and the government has taken strict actions to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread,” Rupani told reporters at Kheda

Later in the day chief secretary J N Singh too took adopted a similar line. “There is no need to panic,’’ he said.

Singh said one case at Ahmeadbad Civil Hospital was reported on November 9, 2016 when at time of delivering child, a 34-year-old woman had reported fever. Her blood samples, which were tested negative for malaria and chikungunya at B J Medical College and Hospital, were sent to NIV Pune for further tests and reports came out positive for Zika virus on November 14.

Read more: Zika virus detected in India, first three cases confirmed in Ahmedabad

In addition to this during the period of January 6 to January 12, 2017, in ante natal clinic 111 blood samples were collected. Out of these samples of 22-year-old pregnant woman was found to be positive for Zika virus.

The woman had delivered a normal baby. During February 10 to February 16, a survey of acute febrile illness was undertaken and 93 blood samples were collected and 64-year-old male patient was tested positive for Zika virus.

“All three were isolated cases,” added Singh.

The government maintained that intensified surveillance and preventive actions were undertaken in East Zone at Bapunagar area, from where three cases were reported,

from January 7 to January 12, 2017. It said that in addition to the teams from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, 100 primary health workers were deputed from nearby five districts for fever surveillance and source reduction activities.

During the five days of the survey, 25,500 houses and 1.25 lakh people were covered. Indoor fogging, anti-larval activities and health education were carried out during house to house campaign. Also, 94 blood samples were collected, which were found to be negative for malaria, dengue and chickungunya. The similar exercise has also been carried out for West Zone.

The government said 300 Aedes mosquitoes were collected and sent for testing at NIV, Pune and NIMR Delhi, which were found to be negative for Zika virus as well as for other mosquito caused diseases.

First Published: May 28, 2017 18:42 IST