Saturday, February 4, 2023

Pakistan increases monkeypox surveillance as WHO declares global health emergency

Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel said on Sunday that the federal government has decided to amplify surveillance for suspected monkeypox cases across the country after WHO’s statement declared high alerts over the outbreak.

“All the national and provincial health authorities have been advised to remain on high alert for any suspected case of monkeypox as the government has started taking effective measures to prevent the disease,” the minister said.

“Instructions have been issued to stakeholders, especially border health services for strict monitoring at all points of entry.” He added

Patel said that the recommendations as per the international health regulations would be fully implemented in the country and the government would continue its work as per the guidelines of WHO.

 Monkeypox declared a Global Health Emergency

WHO, on July 23, declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency and claimed this virus was a critical enough threat that a global response is needed to avoid its mass spreading.

WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the decision to issue the highest alert with respect to the outbreak based on the rapid spread of the disease around the world.

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little,” Tedros said. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.” Dr. Tedros said.

“The WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region, where we assess the risk as high,” he added.

According to the WHO Chief, the declaration would help expedite the production of vaccines and the implementation of steps to limit the spread of the virus.

The WHO is also issuing recommendations that it hopes will spur countries to take action to stop transmission of the virus and protect those most at risk.

“This is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups,” Dr. Tedros said.

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