Indian government censored info on Zika virus outbreak…

because of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit

. . . . .

“For a week, the Union Health Ministry has maintained that the decision to not make cases of Zika public was to avoid panic. However, an investigation by The Hindu reveals that the Vibrant Gujarat Summit “was a factor” in the decision to keep the Zika incidence under wraps.

“The cases in Ahmedabad district were confirmed by January 4, 2017. In just about a week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship project to attract foreign investors, Vibrant Gujarat, was scheduled to take place. A travel advisory at this time could have ruined the summit. Two independent sources, one of whom is highly placed in the Health Ministry, confirmed that the investment summit was the reason for covering up the Zika cases.

“Soon after a positive case was reported, a team of 250 health workers and entomologists (people who study insects) were summoned to Bapunagar, in the east of Ahmedabad, where the patient lived. The healthcare workers were divided into clusters of 20 to carry out intensified intra domestic (ID) work that involves identifying mosquito-breeding spots and symptomatic patients. The week-long exercise, however, did not mention the word Zika.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vibrant-gujarat-summit-forced-silence-on-zika/article18662420.ece

. . . . .
“Even now, I have no idea who the Zika virus patients are. I am only told that two of them fall under my medical boundary.”

[Dr. Harish Sandariya, medical officer, Bapunagar Urban Health Centre, Ahmedabad, Gujarat]

. . . . .

“Consciously did not go public with the cases.”

[Jagadip Narain Singh, Chief Secretary of Gujarat]

. . . . .

“The entire district, with population of close to six lakh people, was told that the screenings were for malaria. ”

• • • • •

In January, three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus had been reported from Bapunagar area in Ahmedabad – but were made public by the government only when the WHO intervened.

“On 15 May 2017, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-Government of India (MoHFW) reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat, State, India.”

“The routine laboratory surveillance detected a laboratory-confirmed case of Zika virus disease through RT-PCR test at B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The etiology of this case has been further confirmed through a positive RT-PCR test and sequencing at the national reference laboratory, National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune on 4 January 2017 (case 2, below). Two additional cases (case 1 and case 3), have then been identified through the Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) and the Antenatal clinic (ANC) surveillance. ”

[Zika virus infection – India, in ‘Disease Outbreak News’, World Health Organisation;
26 May 2017]

http://www.who.int/csr/don/26-may-2017-zika-ind/en/

. . . . .

The government’s unconcern for public safety has reportedly shocked officials of the WHO’s South East Asia Office (SEARO).

India does have a Joint Monitoring Group for Zika, and has now established an Inter-Ministerial Task Force under the chairpersonship of the Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), the Secretary (Bio-Technology), and the Secretary (Department of Health Research).

But India’s Zika-fighting logistical capabilities are woefully inadequate (in fact, almost nonexistent).

It is in this light that the government’s decision to hold back the news should be seen.

The Central government is involved in this unconscionable cover-up, too, because the Vibrant Gujarat Summit is #Narendra_Modi’s brainchild and idée fixé.

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