Monday May 23 2022

Pakistan's top health body issues monkeypox alert

Monkeypox virus particle. — Science Photo Library
Monkeypox virus particle. — Science Photo Library 

  • NIH puts federal and provincial health officials on high alert.
  • Instructions issued to monitor passengers at airports, other entrances. 
  • Medical staff is advised to be careful around monkeypox patients. 

ISLAMABAD: In light of monkeypox cases spreading across Europe, the United States, and the United Kindom, Pakistan's top health body Monday issued an alert regarding the virus.

The federal and provincial health officials are put on high alert and instructions are issued to monitor passengers at airports and other entrances, a National Institute of Health (NIH) notification said.

The body further said that all the big private and government hospitals are directed to establish isolation wards. It also advised the medical staff at the hospitals to be careful around monkeypox patients. 

Pakistans top health body issues monkeypox alert

There are 92 confirmed cases of the virus in different countries and 28 are suspected cases in the world, the notification said, adding the virus transmits from one animal to another and is now transmitting to humans also. 

The NIH said that the virus spread via physical contact with the infected person.  

Sindh govt takes action

Following the NIH's directives, the Sindh government also ordered health facilities to remain vigilant of  monkeypox cases. 

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho keeping in view of the global landscape, advised all healthcare facilities and all healthcare providers in the province to report suspected monkeypox cases.

Dr Pechuho directed the health facilities to report suspected cases the Provincial Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (PDSRU) at Directorate General Health Services Sindh Hyderabad and Regional Disease surveillance and response unit at Karachi for timely and immediate required intervention at each level.

WHO expects more cases of monkeypox to emerge globally

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.

Watch: Monkeypox explained

As of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic to the virus, the UN agency said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations in the coming days for countries on how to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.

"Available information suggests that human-to-human transmission is occurring among people in close physical contact with cases who are symptomatic", the agency added.