No Need to Panic About Ebola: Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today said there is no case of Ebola virus disease in the country and there is no need for panic about it.

"Everything as far as Ebola is concerned is thoroughly well controlled in the country; as on today, to this moment there is no case of Ebola in India and I think there is no need for anybody to panic," Vardhan told reporters here.

He said all state governments as well as the Centre are trying to make sure that anyone travelling from Ebola affected countries is thoroughly screened "in terms of history..., right from the place of their arrival in India to their final destination in the country."

Stating that he had inspected arrangements at Bangalore Airport, the Health Minister said "they are all seized of the issue."

He said Ebola was not airborne."It will only come to you only if you come in contact with the secretions of somebody who has already got this disease and you have contact with a person who is already infected and who is travelling from these countries." "So as such on today nothing to worry about it," Vardhan added.

Speaking about his visit to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences here today, he said "I strongly feel the need of having more NIMHANS like institutions in the country. To begin with, may be at the regional level for which I will certainly start some sort of working when I go back to Delhi."

"NIMHANS people also have a dream of having similar institutions all over the country and in their next dream they want to have NIMHANS like institutions even outside the country also in future," he said.

Pointing out that many Indians are still deprived of primary health care services in India, Vardhan said there was need to develop and redefine the already existing programmes in a fresh way to ensure "a strong package of preventive and positive health services to all Indians through a National Health Assurance Mission and a Universal Health Insurance Plan, about which our government is seriously working...."

To a question on Supreme Court issuing notice to the Centre and the states on a PIL seeking complete ban on smoking products in the country, Vardhan said "....As far as tobacco is concerned there cannot be two opinions about the fact that tobacco only kills, tobacco only produces death...."

"....As far as we are concerned more and more needs to be done to fight the menace of tobacco, and we would certainly discuss the issue of controlling tobacco use to the maximum possible extent...."

"....In future you will certainly see more happening on the tobacco front to fight this menace from the central government side," he added.

Vardhan also said he will be discussing with the state government on setting up All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Karnataka and the progress on upgradation of three medical colleges into super speciality hospitals that has been approved by the central government recently.

Responding to a question on AIIMS in Karnataka, he said "I have written to many Chief Ministers including the Chief Minister of Karnataka about suggesting us the places where they objectively feel that AIIMS could be constructed and will definitely serve the people of whole state for which we had requested about 200 acres of land...."

"...Minister in Karnataka has told me they have written to us suggesting three places, details of which will be examined within our department, we will be in touch with Karnataka state government."

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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