In the wake of increasing respiratory illness among children in China, the Maharashtra public health department has instructed all the hospitals in all districts and municipal corporations to ensure that their COVID infrastructure and systems, which include the number of beds, oxygen plant cylinders, ventilators, etc., are in good working condition.
The health department also directed the hospital to start registering cases related to respiratory problems like severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and sending their samples to RTPCR labs for testing. They should also ensure that the stock of medicine used for these type of cases was sufficient in the hospital
Health dept also advised the use of a PPE kit, mask, and hand sanitizer regularly while treating patients with contiguous diseases.
Dr. Pratap Singh Sarnikar, the Joint Director of Maharashtra Health Department said, "The state's advisory has come after the Centre issued an advisory on Sunday asking states to review preparedness. Accordingly, districts and municipal corporations have been asked to tighten surveillance in hospitals and follow the advisory."
Earlier, on Sunday, the Union Health Ministry issued an advisory to all states and Union Territories, urging them to immediately review the public health and preparedness of hospitals in view of the latest public health scare in China.
The Health Ministry stated that the situation, at present, is not alarming, adding that it was closely tracking events in the neighbouring country.
"In view of the recent reports indicating a surge in respiratory illness in children in northern China in recent weeks, the Union Health Ministry has proactively decided to review the preparedness measures against respiratory illnesses as a matter of abundant caution. This is noted to be important in view of the ongoing influenza and winter seasons that result in an increase in respiratory illness cases. The government of India is closely monitoring the situation and has indicated that there is no need for any alarm," the Health Ministry stated in an official release.
The Union Health Secretary also wrote to states and UTs, advising them to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness.
"All States and Union Territories have been advised to implement 'Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19', shared earlier this year, which provides for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI)," the Ministry added in its release.
The media and ProMED reported on November 21 clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China.
According to CNN, hospitals in Beijing and northern China are grappling with a rise in respiratory illnesses among children as the country enters its first winter after easing stringent COVID-19 restrictions nearly a year ago.
Chinese authorities from the National Health Commission, at a press conference on November 13, reported an increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases in China.
An official at the Beijing Children's Hospital said earlier that the current average of more than 7,000 daily patients "far exceeds the hospital's capacity," CNN reported, citing state media.
On Saturday, the largest paediatric hospital in nearby Tianjin broke a record as more than 13,000 children came to outpatient and emergency departments, CNN reported, citing a local state-run outlet. (ANI)