The government’s action comes amid a steady increase in cases of the viral infection, which was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. World Health Organization recently. In India, officials said, so far six cases of monkeypox have been confirmed – up from four. Kerala and two from Delhi.
The newest confirmed case is of a 35-year-old Nigerian national, who is currently undergoing treatment at Lok Nayak Hospital. The first case of monkeypox in the capital was of a 31-year-old man with no travel history. All the four cases reported from Kerala had travel history United Arab Emirates,
Recently India’s first death from monkeypox was reported in Kerala. The state health minister said that a 22-year-old man, who had recently returned from the UAE after testing positive for the infection, succumbed to the disease on Saturday.
A senior health ministry official said the government was closely monitoring the situation and taking advance steps to deal with any possible crisis. “We have already issued detailed guidelines on management of monkeypox to the state. In addition, Expression of Interest (EoI) has been issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) inviting bids from private players to develop test kits and vaccine candidates against monkeypox virus. The role of the task force will be to expedite the process.
Monkeypox in humans was first identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But for about 50 years after that, few cases of the viral disease were reported from outside Africa, where it is endemic. This is why the sudden spread of the disease in non-endemic areas including the US, UK, Europe and India has taken everyone by surprise.