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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Task force to monitor seasonal viruses

Committee will be headed by chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi, experts such as Dr Sukumar Mukherjee and Dr Gopal Krishna Dhali have been included

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 12.03.23, 04:44 AM
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The Mamata Banerjee government has set up a task force to monitor the prevalence of viruses during the changing seasons, apparently after the spread of the adenovirus across Bengal.

The committee will be headed by chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi. Experts such as Dr Sukumar Mukherjee and Dr Gopal Krishna Dhali have been included in the task force along with senior government officials to supervise the arrangements for the treatment of affected persons in different hospitals and other aspects related to the control of the diseases.

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The task force will meet on a regular basis.

Sources in the state government said the task force was formed after the Centre issued an advisory on the prevalence of the influenza A virus (H3N2) in some parts of the country. The virus is said to have claimed two lives in the country.

The chief secretary said the spread of the adenovirus had been brought under control to some extent as 550-600 cases were now being reported daily compared to 800-900 a day even a week ago.

“A total of 10,999 adenovirus cases were treated in government facilities and 19 deaths were reported. Of the 19 deaths, 13 children had serious comorbidities,” chief secretary Dwivedi said.

He said initiatives like keeping more than 5,000 beds ready in 100-odd hospitals across the state and deploying 600 paediatricians had helped control the situation.

“Moreover, the deployment of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers to locate kids suffering from fever and acute respiratory infection across the state has also helped. Once these kids were identified, they were sent to hospitals immediately,” the chief secretary said.

Sources said that though the H3N2 virus was not known to have spread in the state yet, the Bengal government was not ready to take chances.

Setting up a task force to monitor the situation will help the state to act early if it is found that the virus has started spreading, a source pointed out.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently announced that the uptick in cases of intense cough lasting for over a week coupled with fever could be linked to the H3N2 virus.

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