Strict monitoring to keep Zika virus at bay, says Delhi govt

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Tuesday said the government will enforce strict monitoring in the city as part of its precautionary measure against mosquito-borne Zika virus, which causes serious birth defects in children.

“Though not a single case of Zika virus has been found in Delhi as a precautionary measure we held a meeting a few days ago and decided to conduct strict monitoring in the city,” Jain said.

Jain said that they sought directions from the Central government to deal with the disease. The symptoms of the disease are more like flu and the mosquito which transmits Zika virus, namely Aedes aegypti, also transmits dengue virus that is widely prevalent in India, Jain said.

Meanwhile, WHO has declared an emergency over the “explosive” spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus following which Centre today issued detailed guidelines including a travel advisory for pregnant women urging them to either defer or cancel their travel to the affected areas.

Jain also announced 150 polyclinics will be opened in the city by the year-end. Of these, 65 polyclinics will be operational within four months.

A majority of those infected with Zika virus either remain asymptomatic (up to 80 per cent) or show mild symptoms of fever, rash, conjunctivitis, body ache, joint pains.