Ebola is the new threat the world is currently fighting with no defence mechanisms. With the disease taking lives and the danger of the it in India has been giving many sleepless nights. However, the country and Health ministry has taken some precaution to prevent the deadly disease from spreading in India. The measures including infection control practices taken by the States have been now communicated to the states. The state governments informed during the meeting that these protocols have been put in place and all inbound passengers are being screened. Health Minister of India, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has assured of the following steps to be implemented so that the country does not have face a disaster.
22150 passengers have been screened of which 7 were identified to be at medium risk and 56 at high risk while the others were categorised at low risk. No case of Ebola has so far been reported in the country although WHO has reported about 9000 cases and 4493 deaths globally.
In accordance with the protocol, state governments have identified hospitals and isolation wards for Ebola treatment. Training of doctors for the disease is also being organised by the Health Ministry from October 19 to October 21 in Delhi which will also includes demonstrations and mock drills. Adequacy of preparations in these hospitals will inspected by central teams.
National Institute of Virology at Pune is fully equipped to handle the testing work relating to Ebola virus and the National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), Delhi, for molecular diagnosis. 10 other laboratories in various places including Delhi, Dibrugarh, Port Blair, Kolkata, Manipal, Lucknow, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Jaipur and Agra will be strengthened to handle this work..
Immigration officers have been trained and crew members of flights have also been sensitised on the measures to be taken by the airline crew and on the standard operating procedures for passenger screening at the airports by Airport Health Organisations. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been asked to make inflight announcement regarding the virus and its symptoms. A health screening card and advisory for passengers has also been prepared and information is being collected from the passengers arriving from the affected countries. The Chief Secretaries were requested to have proper liaison and coordination is maintained by the State health authorities with the airports. State Governments have been asked to maintain coordination with all ports, including the minor ports, so that ship crew are also screened properly.