Published On : Mon, Aug 18th, 2014

Is Nagpur ready to tackle deadly Ebola virus? Is system in place at Airport to kill menace?

Nagpur News

Nations across the world, today, are grappling with a common problem and also initiating various measures on war-footing to deal with the monstrous menace. The monster is in the form of a rare but extremely dangerous virus, Ebola. Ebola is historically rooted in Central Africa, but has now moved to West Africa and is on the verge of spreading its deadly tentacles in many parts of the world. The unprecedented Ebola outbreak is causing havoc with hundreds of deaths.

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa an international public health emergency, India put its airports on high alert with the most advanced surveillance and tracking systems. There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola. An epidemic has to be stopped by isolating suspected cases in ultra-clean conditions and quarantining those who had been in contact with them.

But the question remains: Is Nagpur ready to crush the Ebola monster before it strikes the city? Is the system in place at Nagpur Airport to tackle this deadly virus? Are District Administration officials geared up to prevent entry of Ebola in the city? The picture appears dreary.
Nagpur Airport is now in the focus. The Airport caters to the flights from Dubai and other Middle-East countries. Although there is no direct flight coming to Nagpur from any African countries, passengers landing in the city from any other country could also be potential carriers of Ebola virus and routine screenings have to be started and additional medical practitioners should be available from Public Health Department, GMHC, Mayo and other Government Hospitals. But the scenario at the Airport appears contradictory. There is no coordination between the concerned Government health agencies and thus the Airport has been exposed to entry of Ebola in city in deadliest way. This fact also points out that the District Administration has not geared itself yet to tackle the menace with clinical hand.

Early detection and management of travel related Ebola virus cases holds the key to curbing spread of Ebola. Outbreaks can be contained through early detection and isolation of cases, contact tracing and monitoring, and following rigorous procedures for infection control.
Since Nagpur is located in the center of the country, the city holds importance in many ways. If an Ebola affected passenger from Dubai lands in the city, the way for the deadly virus to enter city could be paved. The virus would not be limited to city only. It could spread to other parts of the country as Nagpur is well-connected by railway and roads. Keeping the dreaded fact in mind, the Central Government has put GMCH, Mayo and Airport authorities on alert.

After the alert by Central Health Department, screening of passengers arriving from Dubai or any other Middle-East countries has to be done thoroughly. And if a case of Ebola virus comes to light, health authorities are required to isolate the patient without any delay and prevent spread of the virus to other passengers and citizens as well. However, the question is: Has the District Administration put any Medical Team in place at the Airport? Expert doctors from Public Health Department, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Mayo could have been drawn by the District Administration but no efforts are visible in this direction.

Talking to Nagpur Today, NMC’s Deputy Director of Health Dr Milind Ganvir said that no doubt Ebola virus is life-threatening but not a single patient has been reported in the city nor any suspected passenger arrived by international flight.

Representational pic

Representational pic