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Pneumonia outbreak in China: Kerala puts teams on alert

After the pneumonia outbreak in China, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Saturday that teams of health officials in the state are on alert.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) discussed this with China yesterday. The WHO has discussed with China the pneumonia that is seen in children. What we know is that China has clarified that there is nothing to worry about. When the news came out, our expert committee met to analyse the situation. Yesterday, I chaired a meeting with doctors from BME and DHS,” George told ANI.

“We are still closely monitoring the situation. Our team is alert. They are viewing the situation,” said the Minister.

Speaking on the pneumonia outbreak, she said, “What experts said is that the approaches chosen by us, China and other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic are slightly different. They had lockdown for a longer period. China gave relaxation only a year after lockdown. It was already found globally that the natural immunity depth in children was reduced due to the pandemic. China has started experiencing it now. This is what our health experts have analysed”.

Kerala is often more susceptible to viruses, as there are more international movements in the state.

Another reason is that a major part of the state’s population is spread across the globe. From monkeypox to Covid-19, the first case was reported in Kerala.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the ongoing situation of the pneumonia outbreak in China is being keenly observed by the health institutions in India and all appropriate actions are being taken.

Speaking to the media, Mansukh Mandaviya said, “The government is continuously paying attention to the situation of pneumonia spreading within China. ICMR and the Director General of Health Services are keeping an eye on it and taking necessary action.”

The media and ProMED reported on November 21 clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China.

It is pertinent to note that hospitals in Beijing and northern China are grappling with a rise in respiratory illnesses among children as the country enters its first winter after easing stringent Covid-19 restrictions nearly a year ago, CNN reported.

Chinese authorities from the National Health Commission, at a press conference on November 13, reported an increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases in China.

An official at the Beijing Children’s Hospital on Tuesday said that the current average of more than 7,000 daily patients “far exceeds the hospital’s capacity,” CNN reported, citing state media.

On Saturday, the largest paediatric hospital in nearby Tianjin broke a record as more than 13,000 children came to outpatient and emergency departments. CNN cited a local state-run outlet. ANI

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