Seventy isolation rooms have been set up across six hospitals in Delhi to tackle the monkeypox situation, officials said on Tuesday, hours after the national capital reported its third case of the viral disease.
Twenty of these rooms have been set up at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, the nodal centre for treatment of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox, while 10 isolation rooms each have been established in five other hospitals in the city.
These five hospitals include GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, both run by the city government; and three private hospitals, namely Kailash Deepak Hospital, MD City Hospital and Batra Hospital, Tughlakabad, the official said.
The Delhi Deputy Chief Minister's Office in a statement on Tuesday said healthcare of Delhi residents is a "top priority of the Kejriwal government".
“The Delhi government is keeping an eye on the complete situation of monkeypox infection and has done all the preparations to fight back. Looking at the current situation, isolation rooms have been set up in three government and three private hospitals," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was quoted as saying in the statement.
The AAP-led Delhi government has geared up to fight "even a potential monkeypox outbreak", and more isolation rooms will be added, if needed, he said.
A 35-year-old man of African origin with no recent history of foreign travel has tested positive for monkeypox in Delhi, making it the country's eighth case of the infection and the city's third, official sources said on Tuesday.
The man was admitted to the Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital on Monday, they said, adding that he is in a stable condition.
“Not many cases of monkeypox have been reported in India, yet we are ready with all the preventive measures in place. The Delhi government is taking several important steps to prevent monkeypox infection from spreading across the national capital," Sisodia asserted.
"The number of rooms will be increased in the future as per the requirement. All the arrangements have been made as per the global standards to fight the infectious monkeypox virus," he said.
The Delhi deputy chief minister also underlined that though monkeypox is a communicable disease, "one need to follow the precautions instead of being scared of it".
Two suspected cases of monkeypox are also admitted in the LNJP Hospital presently, while the west Delhi man who was the first reported case of the viral zoonotic disease in Delhi, was discharged on Monday, sources told PTI.
“To provide immediate treatment to the positive and suspected cases of monkeypox, the Delhi government has made isolation rooms in three government hospitals and three private hospitals," Sisodia said.
It is to be noted that, as on July 23 this year, more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 75 countries across the world, in view of which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared monkeypox as a "public health emergency", the statement said.
According to the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, if a person has the history of travelling to monkeypox-hit countries in the past 21 days, has symptoms like swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, bodyache, rashes, weakness, respiratory symptoms, he or she might be a suspected case of monkeypox, it said.
The precautions to be followed for not contracting monkeypox infection includes avoiding exposure to an infected person. The disease can be spread through direct physical contact, with skin or skin wounds, or by contact with material used by an infected person such as clothing, beddings or utensils, the statement said.