In order to reduce the risk of disease transmission, the Joint Secretary of the Union Health Ministry has written to Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman, Executive Director and IHR focal point in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), asking him to step up screening to make sure that people with symptoms suggestive of monkeypox disease are not allowed to board flights to India.
In the letter, dated August 1, the Joint Secretary said, “It is requested that exit screening of may be further intensified so as to ensure persons exhibiting symptoms suggestive of Monkeypox disease are not allowed to board the flight to minimize the risk of disease transmission.”
“As the global community grapples with yet another Public Health Emergency of International concern, it is essential that IHR Focal points maintain a continuous coordination and share key information to avoid the spread of disease information across international boundaries,” the letter accessed by ANI said further.
To date, India has reported a total of eight confirmed cases of Monkeypox disease, of these cases four cases were with travel history who have arrived in India from UAE.
“As evident three of the cases were already exhibiting symptoms suggestive of Monkeypox disease before arrival in India,” the Joint Secretary mentioned in the letter.
He stated in a letter referencing the regulations that, under article 18 of the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005, Member States should implement exit screening procedures at Points of Entry and, if necessary, impose restrictions on people from affected areas in response to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). He further explained in the letter regarding WHO recommendations on screening procedures and restrictions.
Five cases of monkeypox that have a history of travel to the UAE have recently been reported from Kerala.