The Union Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, and Dr Rajiv Bahl, DG, ICMR have issued a letter to the States/UTs chief secretaries and senior health officers regarding the rising cases of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) & Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI). They have advised the States and UTs to keep a close watch on the evolving etiologies (causes of diseases) of these illnesses. The advisory highlights the precautions that need to be taken by the people to prevent the spread of these diseases. The advisory also emphasizes the importance of hospital preparedness, including drugs, beds, medical equipment, medical oxygen, capacity building of human resources, existing guidelines, and vaccination coverage. To this effect, a nationwide mock drill is being planned on 10th and 11th April 2023, wherein health facilities (both public and private) from all districts are expected to participate. The advisory also stresses the importance of maintaining optimum testing for COVID-19, equitably distributed across the States to identify any emerging hotspots and take pre-emptive steps to curb virus transmission.
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