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Fully prepared to tackle ebola threat, Odisha tells Centre

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16:

The Odisha government today apprised the Centre over its preparedness to prevent possible outbreak of the deadly ebola epidemic in the state.

The state chief secretary G C Pati, special relief commissioner P K Mohapatra and secretary Health and Family Welfare Arati Ahuja informed the Union cabinet secretary Ajit Seth through video conferencing that the state’s public health mechanism has been geared up to intensify surveillance to prevent possible outbreak of killer ebola, said an official release.

The state government told Seth that all the public health officials and hospitals have been trained and 39 protocol points issued by the Ministry of Health are being followed, the release said.

The Centre was informed that additional district medical officers of the state have been trained on the issue and an emergency control room has been set up while the deputy director, Public Health has been designated as the state’s nodal officer for the purpose.

The protocols of handling any suspected case has already been issued to the hospitals while passenger screening is being undertaken at the airport and protocol tracking of passengers coming from countries reporting the disease is being done for the last 30 days. The port authorities in the state have also been moved for the protocol checking, the release said.

The state government said an isolation ward has been identified in SCB Medical College to provide treatment to any suspected ebola victim. The clinical staff have been trained and necessary PPE (Personnel Protection Equipment) are being arranged from the Centre for the clinical treatment.

The state government has requested the Union Health ministry to upgrade the existing laboratory of ICMR, Bhubaneswar to BSL-III level for more effective detection / testing and handling of the ebola virus.

“There is no cause for panic about the disease. No case of ebola has been reported in India so far. Both the Union and state governments are taking possible preventive and clinical measures,” the Health and Family Welfare secretary Ms Ahuja told reporters after the video conferencing

Meanwhile chief secretary GC Pati has advised the Health department to form special teams for prevention and treatment of the deadly virus and undertake training and necessary mock-drill as per the specified protocol to remain in full preparedness.