Monkeypox symptoms would immediately get passengers at Delhi’s IGI airport directed to Lok Nayak hospital, according to officials aware of the situation on Monday. The decision was arrived at during a review meeting that Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena presided over.
Inspecting passengers for high fevers, joint, and back pain, the airport health team’s doctors would reportedly refer suspected patients to LNJP. The National Institute of Virology in Pune will receive samples from patients who are hospitalised to the hospital. Additional district magistrate Vikram Singhal stated that the district administration would place suspected patients’ families under quarantine and conduct contact tracing.
After the review meeting, the LG tweeted: “Reviewed the monkeypox situation in Delhi along with CS, secretary health, DGHS and others concerned. Was apprised of preparedness in terms of medical services, hospital infrastructure, tracing, testing, surveillance and clinical management. Advised officials to ensure all preventive measures. I appeal to the people to not panic and follow all prescribed prevention and treatment protocols.”
One case of monkeypox has been reported in Delhi so far; the victim is a 34-year-old Paschim Vihar resident who has never travelled overseas. 13 contacts that belonged to his family or the doctors who initially treated him and suggested home quarantine have been tracked down by the district administration. The health teams presently have the capability to test just those with suspected Covid symptoms, according to officials positioned at the airport. According to sources, 2-3% of international passengers on each flight landing at IGI airport are randomly tested.
“Some of the symptoms in both Covid and monkeypox are the same. After randomly testing passengers for Covid-19, we let them go to their destination. If found positive, the reports are sent to them as well as the district and state authorities. It is important that we increase surveillance to screen passengers for the symptoms of monkeypox. We have already written to the government for the same,” an official said, asking to remain anonymous.
A team of 150 health professionals are currently stationed at Delhi Airport to screen travellers for Covid-19. A decision to increase the number of doctors, testing teams, and health professionals at the airport has not yet been made, according to sources.