Policy Matter

Health Ministry to issue guidelines regarding Zika virus today


As “ZIKA has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO)”, the Union Health Ministry will issue guidelines regarding Zika virus by Tuesday evening, said Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda at the Regional Editors Conference here.

Zika is mosquito-borne virus, which is linked to birth defects in America. The UN health agency yesterday convened an emergency ZIKA-virusmeeting of independent experts in Geneva to assess the outbreak of the virus. The meeting was convened after noting a suspicious link between Zika’s arrival in Brazil last year and a surge in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads.

WHO estimates there could be up to four million cases of Zika in the American continents in the next year, but no recommendations were made to restrict travel or trade.

The last such public health emergency was declared for the devastating 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people. A similar declaration was made for polio the year before.

Stating that the government will soon come up with a policy to check price of medicines with same salts, Nadda said under the Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) scheme cancer medicines are being made available at 80 percent less price and cardio vascular implants at 60 percent less price.

Referring to medico legal cases, Nadda said a pilot project has been launched in PGI, Chandigarh, where doctors could give their witness online, and after receiving the success, the project would be implemented across country.

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