India Adopts Heightened Surveillance on Pediatric Respiratory Diseases Following China's Spike

India Adopts Heightened Surveillance on Pediatric Respiratory Diseases Following China's Spike

New Delhi - The central government has instructed state governments to enhance vigilance and promptly report instances of severe respiratory illnesses in children, prompted by the increasing incidents of pneumonia in China.

States are directed to document all cases of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in children and adolescents at the district level as a precautionary measure.

Emphasizing the proactive nature of this initiative, a senior central government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated, "This is a purely precautionary measure. While no alarming signals have been identified so far, it is crucial to intensify surveillance. The existing surveillance system for tracking respiratory illnesses due to Covid-19 will be utilized for this purpose. As reiterated previously, the risk for India remains low."

A communication from Union Health Secretary Sudhansh Pant urged states to ensure that the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) closely monitors ILI and SARI data.

"The data on ILI and SARI must be uploaded on the IDSP-IHIP portal, particularly from public health institutions, including medical college hospitals. States are also instructed to forward nasal and throat swab samples from SARI patients, especially children and adolescents, to Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) within the states for testing respiratory pathogens," the communication outlined.

Highlighting the collaborative and precautionary measures, the letter concluded, "The cumulative impact of implementing these measures is anticipated to address any potential situations and guarantee the safety and well-being of citizens."

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