Monkeypox: Odisha Health Minister Calls Meeting; CDMOs, Govt Medical Colleges Told To Keep Beds Ready

Bhubaneswar: With monkeypox cases rising globally and India reporting four cases so far, state Health Minister Naba Kishore Das on Tuesday called a high-level meeting to discuss the situation in Odisha. The meeting was attended by officials from the Health Department.

“I have directed all the CDMOs to keep two beds ready in every District Headquarters Hospital. I have also called for another review meeting on monkeypox on July 30. We have to be prepared to tackle the disease,” he told mediapersons after the meeting.

“Monkeypox is also a viral disease like COVID-19. We have to be prepared. We have to keep beds ready. People with symptoms should immediately go for check-up. I will discuss all this in the review meeting on July 30. We are also keeping a close vigil on people coming from abroad,” he said.

The state Health Department on Monday directed all seven government medical colleges and hospitals (MCHs) in Odisha to keep dedicated beds for monkeypox patients.

In a letter to the government MCHs, the Directorate of Health said, “Make two isolation beds functional in each MCH for management of monkeypox cases if detected and admitted.”

A faculty member of the MCH should be declared as nodal officer to coordinate the effort, it said.

The medical colleges should be ready to expand the facility if required, the letter added.

“We have issued guidelines to medical colleges, CDMOs and specialists and asked them to remain alert. District Collectors have been asked to keep a watch on people coming from other states and countries,” state Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra told a news portal on Monday.

“We have held discussions with the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) about the method of treatment for people with monkeypox symptoms. RMRC will test monkeypox samples. As many as 15 centres including RMRC have been designated to carry out tests. Initially monkeypox looks like small pox. If anyone has such symptoms, he or she should immediately go for testing,” Mishra said.

India has reported four cases so far.

The World Health Organisation has activated its highest alert level for the growing monkeypox outbreak, declaring the virus a public health emergency of international concern.

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