India to screen arrivals for monkeypox signs

Updated on May 20, 2022 11:15 PM IST

Some samples of suspected cases have been directed to be sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, which is country’s apex virology laboratory under the Indian Council of medical Research, for testing against the viral disease.

The samples should be taken and “sent to a Bio safety level 4 laboratory for testing”, the official cited the directions as saying. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)
The samples should be taken and “sent to a Bio safety level 4 laboratory for testing”, the official cited the directions as saying. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)
By, New Delhi

India on Friday stepped up surveillance at all international entry points for monkeypox infections amid growing global concerns of an unusual outbreak, that has led to around 100 cases being suspected in parts of Europe, US and Australia.

Officials have been asked to identify and collect samples for testing of passengers arriving from African nations who show symptoms related to monkey pox, according to people familiar with the development.

“A detailed SOP has been issued to officers manning all international entry points that are the first such screening guidelines for monkeypox issued in the country, for international passengers coming from African countries,” said a senior Union health ministry official aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

The samples should be taken and “sent to a Bio safety level 4 laboratory for testing”, the official cited the directions as saying.

Some samples of suspected cases have been directed to be sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, which is country’s apex virology laboratory under the Indian Council of medical Research, for testing against the viral disease.

Monkeypox is a virus that originates in wild animals and occasionally jumps to humans, causing an illness that last 2-4weeks and is manifested by symptoms of fever and lesions. The disease is endemic in parts of central and west Africa and does not usually have a very high fatality rate.

“The directive has been issued purely as a precautionary measure to look out for any warning signs. There are no cases of monkeypox detected in India so far. Since cases in humans are being detected in other countries, India has taken a proactive step like always,” said the official cited above.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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