Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

Telangana Minister Claims State 'Fully Prepared' To Tackle Monkeypox Outbreak

Telangana Health Minister T Harish Rao has said that the state government is taking measures to tackle a possible monkeypox outbreak.

Isolation ward for Monkeypox patients Photo: AP/Mahesh Kumar A.

The Telangana government is gearing up to tackle monkeypox disease and has designated a state-run hospital in Hyderabad as the nodal facility to treat patients, state Health Minister T Harish Rao said on Monday.

The government is mulling to put in place testing facilities at airports to test those arriving from foreign countries, especially African nations, he said.

"We are consulting the Central government. We are looking at putting in place testing centers in airports and testing those coming from foreign countries, especially African countries," he said.

The state government was awaiting the test results of a 35-year-old resident of Telangana who had a travel history to Kuwait, he said. The samples of the person have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for monkeypox and they are also being tested at the Gandhi government hospital in Hyderabad. The test result is expected to be received either Monday night or by Tuesday. The man, with suspected symptoms of monkeypox, has been shifted to the Fever hospital in Hyderabad. 

The state government has made the Fever hospital the nodal hospital to treat patients with monkeypox and the Gandhi hospital the testing center, Harish Rao said.  "Whatever it is, the government is fully prepared. The machinery is geared up and we have procured the testing kits," he said.

Harish Rao held a video conference with officials along with other state ministers on Monday on seasonal diseases, dengue, Covid-19, and others. On administering booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, he said the government has fixed targets for district Collectors. The booster doses would be administered at all colleges, and schools in the next month. The officials have been directed to take steps to give the booster shots by visiting homes.

About two crore booster doses have to be administered in the state, he said. He also urged the public representatives to join the efforts in a big way in helping prevent the spread of seasonal diseases and with regard to Covid-19 booster doses. 

During the conference, the Collectors were asked to take up special drives like 'Friday dry day' (emptying water storage containers, etc) in all the schools, hostels, and other institutions in view of the rise in seasonal diseases following heavy rains. Similarly, the '10 minutes at 10 AM on Sunday's special campaign (emptying stagnant water) should also be resumed.

 Several other directives were given to officials during the video conference.