Monkeypox | Centre forms task force to monitor virus situation

Centre’s move to form a task force comes days after a Kerala youth died of monkeypox-like symptoms

Updated - August 01, 2022 12:19 pm IST

Published - August 01, 2022 12:01 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The monkeypox Isolation ward at a government hospital in Hyderabad. File

The monkeypox Isolation ward at a government hospital in Hyderabad. File | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

The Central Government has constituted a task force in the wake of monkeypox cases in India to monitor and provide guidance on the expansion of diagnostic facilities and to explore vaccination for the infection in the country.

The decision was taken during a meeting attended by senior officials recently. The team will be headed by Dr. V.K. Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog. Until Monday, India confirmed four monkeypox cases — three in Kerala and one in Delhi. 

Explained | What type of vaccine will work against monkeypox?

Last week, a youth in Kerala presenting monkeypox-like symptoms died, following which State Health Minister Veena George had initiated a high-level inquiry.

Dr. Paul earlier reassured the general public, saying there is no need for any panic about the monkeypox virus as the government has taken significant measures to keep the disease in check.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 18,000 cases have been reported from 78 countries.

Explained | All we know about the monkeypox virus outbreak so far

Take the risks seriously: WHO

“The monkeypox outbreak can be stopped if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO, on Thursday.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too, according to the WHO.

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