Home / News / India /  Monkeypox: Centre to form task force to monitor cases across India

Centre on Sunday said that it will form a task force to monitor monkeypox cases in India. The team will be headed by Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog and the members include the Secretary of Union Health Ministry, Pharma and Biotech, sources close to the government informed, as reported by news agency ANI. 

Dr Paul, however, said that there was no need for any undue panic but it was still important that the country and the society stay vigilant."There is no need to panic, as of now, but one must report in time if they spot any symptoms, he said.

This comes after India reported its first monkeypox death on Saturday. Kerala man, who had tested positive for monkeypox in another country, died in Thrissur on Saturday. This would be India’s first monkeypox death and the fourth one outside Africa. As per reports, the youth had landed in Kerala on July 22 from the United Arab Emirates.

"The result of the test conducted in the foreign country was positive. He sought treatment in Thrissur due to severe fatigue and encephalitis and Monkeypox is not a fatal disease," said George.

She said that delay in seeking treatment will be investigated. The health department called a meeting in Punnayur regarding the death of a young man due to alleged Monkeypox.

Meanwhile, a contact list and route map of the deceased youth has been prepared. Contact persons are advised to undergo isolation.

Notably, India has reported five cases of monkeypox so far, of which three cases are from Kerala, one is from Delhi and one from Andhra Pradesh's Guntur.

The global monkeypox outbreak has seen more than 21,00 cases in nearly 80 countries since May. There have been 75 suspected deaths in Africa, mostly in Nigeria and Congo, where a more lethal form of monkeypox is spreading than in the West. Apart from that, Spain and Brazil have reported deaths related to monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too, according to the WHO.

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