Centre asks states to review preparedness amid China's pneumonia outbreak
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The Union Health Ministry announced on Sunday that it has asked state and union territories (UTs) to review hospital preparedness in light of the recent surge in pneumonia cases in China.
In an official release, the health ministry said it is keeping a close eye on the situation in Beijing and that there is no need for concern at this time.
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Why does this story matter?
While China recovers from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mysterious pneumonia outbreak is sweeping through the country's schools.
The situation came to light earlier this week after the World Health Organization (WHO) asked China for more details.
Reports also claimed that hospitals in Beijing and Liaoning were struggling to cope with the surge of sick children.
Key takeaways from Health Ministry’s advisory
Furthermore, the Health Ministry's advisory emphasized implementing the "Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the Context of COVID-19."
Another key instruction in the advisory is to closely monitor trends related to severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI) by state and district surveillance units.
The cumulative effect of these preventative and proactive collaborative measures is expected to counter any potential problem and protect citizens' safety and well-being.
You can read Centre’s full health advisory here
Here’s what WHO said about China’s recent pneumonia outbreak
In addition, states were asked to submit nasal and throat swab samples from SARI patients, especially children and adolescents, to Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) for testing for respiratory pathogens.
On Thursday, the WHO said that China attributed the recent spike in respiratory illnesses to lifting COVID-19 restrictions and the circulation of known pathogens such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia, and SARS-CoV-2.
It said that it was in "contact with clinicians and scientists through...existing technical partnerships and networks in China."
Symptoms, cause: All you need to know about pneumonia
Pneumonia can be defined as an illness that affects one or both lungs and causes the air sacs or alveoli to fill up with liquid. Bacteria, fungi, or viruses might be responsible for causing pneumonia.
Symptoms of pneumonia include a cough with or without mucus, chills, trouble breathing, and fever. However, the severity of this illness depends on an individual's overall health, age, and what caused the infection.