Asks States to brief media for factual reporting in case of an outbreak

Even as some States have reported outbreak of A(H1N1) influenza, the Centre has said that since the virus is circulating in the community, border control measures, such as entry screening at airports, ports and railway and bus stations, is not essential.

The influenza has been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, and some of these and their neighbouring States are resorting to screening at entry points.

In a communication, Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary P.K. Pradhan has asked the States to review the situation for addressing gaps, if any, in the preparedness and response by their machinery. Equally important would be to instruct senior officers to brief the media for factual reporting that would alleviate fears among the public.

The Ministry directed the States to review the capacities, developed during the pandemic, for screening, categorisation, testing, clinical and critical care and patient management. Guidelines developed during the pandemic may be followed, including patient categorisation and testing protocols. “I would also like to lay emphasis on high-risk groups, especially pregnant women. The outbreak in 2011 and that being witnessed now show substantial risk, with high mortality among them. Hence, such cases should be put on treatment as early as possible.”

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