The government will step up monkeypox preventive and control measures in the State, Health Minister Veena George has said.
Special attention would be given to the surveillance of those developing symptoms resembling chicken pox to rule out the possibility of monkeypox. Such random samples from the community would be tested to ensure that the virus is in no way circulating in the community, Ms. George said here on Saturday after meeting a Central team of experts who are in the State to help check the spread of monkeypox.
It has also been decided to strengthen airport surveillance and to isolate anyone with fever and rashes. The Health department will hold discussions with airport authorities in this regard. The department is also arranging Kanivu 108 ambulances to reach any patient with monkeypox or suspected monkeypox to hospitals.
Training of health workers in monkeypox preventive and control measures are progressing. Already, over 1,200 health workers have been given training in precautionary measures to be adopted when managing monkeypox patients and the control measures to be adopted to prevent the spread of the disease.
The Health department intends to train dermatologists, physicians, paediatricians, Ayush division, those manning Pulari clinics and airport employees.
The condition of the patient confirmed as having monkeypox is satisfactory and none others have exhibited any symptoms so far. Those under surveillance are being observed closely and health workers are getting in touch with them twice a day tocheck on their mental and physical health.
The Central team held detailed discussions with all senior Health officials, including the Principal Secretary (Health), Additional Director (Public Health) and the Director of State Public Health Laboratory. They also visited the Government Medical College Hospital here where the patient is being treated.
Meanwhile, the Health department, with the help of the police, has managed to trace the taxi drivers and autorickshaw drivers who had taken the patient to hospitals after he landed here from the UAE. They have been put under surveillance for the next 21 days.