The Bihar health department has readied guidelines to issue an advisory asking medical colleges and district hospitals to identify isolation facility for Ebola virus disease (EVD).
This follows an advisory by the Centre on July 18 urging states to keep vigil for EVD after its cases were reported from Congo. On July 17, the World Health Organisation declared the situation of Ebola in Congo as public health emergency of international concern.
The letter from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW), New Delhi, advised state surveillance officer to keep constant vigil and raise awareness level and knowledge of surveillance officers and healthcare providers on basic standard precautions to be followed during the care and treatment of the suspected patients.
It also asked states and union territories to identify an isolation facility in each district and medical college.
“While asking our healthcare officials to stay alert and also ready isolation wards in their respective facilities, we will ask all districts and medical colleges to immediately notify us if they come across any case of Ebola. We will urge our health officials to keep themselves abreast with the Centre’s instructions on safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients, hospital infection control guidelines, guidelines for sample collection, storage and transportation, guidelines for healthcare provider and guidelines for clinical case management, available on the MoH&FW website,” said executive director of Bihar’s State Health Society, Manoj Kumar.
He said though hospitals did not have separate beds for different diseases, it did have a limited number of beds in isolation ward to cater to infectious diseases.
“We will reiterate the need to keep in readiness isolation wards in district hospitals and medical colleges that can also be used to treat Ebola cases,” added Kumar.
Director, NCDC, Dr Sujeet K Singh, in his letter, said, “If any suspect is admitted to their health facility or seen by health provider, (they should) include the basic level of infection control — hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct contact with blood and body fluids, prevention of needle stick and injuries from other sharp instruments, and a set of environmental control.”
Cases of Ebola are being reported from Congo since 2018. So far, 2,522 cases (2,428 confirmed and 94 probable) and 1,698 (1,604 confirmed and 94 probable) deaths have been reported since August 2018 till July 16, this year from Congo with case fatality rate of 70%.