NEW DELHI: The central government reiterated on Sunday that it was closely monitoring the surge in respiratory illness in children in parts of China. In its latest update, the Union Health Ministry indicated that there was no need for any alarm.
A notable surge in respiratory illness in children in northern China in recent weeks was reported. Against this backdrop, the Union Health Ministry has proactively decided to review the preparedness measures against respiratory illnesses as a matter of abundant caution.
On a precautionary note, states and UTs have been advised to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness measures, including the availability of human resources, hospital beds, drugs and vaccines for influenza, medical oxygen, antibiotics, personal protective equipment, and testing kits, among other essential medical items.
They have also been asked to ensure that the trends of influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infections (ILI/SARI) should be closely monitored.
Recently, information shared by WHO has indicated an increase in respiratory illness in northern parts of China. As per WHO, the release of COVID-19 restrictions coinciding with the onset of the winter season, in addition to the cyclical trend of respiratory illnesses such as Mycoplasma pneumonia, led to this surge.
While WHO has sought additional information from Chinese authorities, it is assessed that there is no cause for alarm at the moment.