Odisha intensifies surveillance to prevent Ebola outbreak

Bhubaneswar, Oct 17: As a part of its preparedness to prevent outbreak of Ebola, Odisha government has opened an emergency control room and intensified surveillance to keep on a tab on the disease.

Deputy Director, Public Health has been designated as the State Nodal Officer for the purpose, Chief Secretary G C Pati informed the Centre during a video conference with Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth.

The state public health mechanism has geared up to intensify steps for surveillance of the disease.

Besides Pati, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra and Health and Family Welfare Secretary Arati Ahuja also attended the video conference.

"We have apprised the central government that public health officials and hospitals have been trained and 39 protocol points issued by the Ministry of Health are being placed," said Ahuja.
Additional District Medical Officers of the state have been trained on the issue.

Passenger screening is being undertaken on airports and protocol tracking of passengers, coming from countries that have reported the disease, is being done for 30 days, she said.

The port authorities have also been moved for protocol checking. An isolation ward has been identified in SCB Medical College to provide clinical treatment to any suspected person, the health secretary said, adding, the clinical staff have been trained and necessary PPE (Personnel Protection Equipment) are being arranged from the central government for clinical treatment.

The ministry has been requested to upgrade the existing laboratory of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Bhubaneswar for more effective detection, testing and handling of Ebola virus, she said.

Underlining that there was no cause for panic, Ahuja said, "No case of Ebola has been reported in India so far. The union and state government are taking possible preventive and clinical measures."

The chief secretary suggested the department to form special teams for prevention and treatment and undertake training and mock-drill as per the specified protocol.