China illness surge: Multiplex PCR tests to begin at 2 Delhi govt hospitals

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Thursday said multiplex PCR tests will be started at two government hospitals to detect emerging pathogens and asserted there was no need to panic amid a rise in respiratory diseases among children in north China.

Bharadwaj held a meeting earlier in the day to review the preparedness of hospitals and also directed to procure an antiviral drug for children to be administered in such cases.

Speaking to PTI Video, he said, “Following the Centre’s advice, we held a meeting with experts from the Delhi government, including pulmonologists and pediatric pulmonologists who have seen the situation. No new pathogens have been detected so far. But as a precautionary measure, pediatric units have been instructed to conduct broad-spectrum testing on children admitted with symptoms to detect emerging pathogens.”

Later in a post on

The Union Health Ministry has advised states to immediately review public health preparedness in light of the recent reports indicating an increase in respiratory diseases among children in North China.

The minister said that the experts have said that there is no evidence of mortality so far.

“We have directed the department to procure antiviral drugs to be administered to children so that we have access to those drugs in case of emergency. We have asked hospitals to be alert and all preparations should be carried out as per Covid protocols. I understand it from doctors who show an increase in the number of cough and flu infections in January. Please don’t think it has anything to do with China. Please don’t panic,” he said.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said that out of an abundance of caution, it has decided to proactively review the preparatory measures against respiratory diseases.

In a post on Overall, there is no alarming situation in Delhi. It is said that the infections that take place are non-pathogenic and that happens often this season. However, we keep an eye on all situations and that is why we have made a number of decisions.”

Recently, information shared by WHO has indicated an increase in respiratory diseases in northern parts of China. This is mainly attributed to common causes such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia and SARS-CoV-2.

According to WHO, the release of COVID-19 restrictions coinciding with the start of the winter season and the cyclical trend of respiratory diseases such as mycoplasma pneumonia have led to this increase.

Although WHO has sought additional information from Chinese authorities, it is assessed that there is no cause for concern at this time, the ministry said.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)