GMOA sounds alarm on Covid, Monkeypox

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Amidst the rising number of Covid patients and the rising concerns on monkeypox, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has requested the Health Services Director General to convene the Covid technical committee and make it compulsory for people to wear facemasks when entering high-risk areas and to make the public aware of the possibility of another Covid wave due to the spread of the Covid-19 omicron new sub variant, BA.5, around the country.

GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the new Covid -19 Omicron sub variant has a vast spread around the country and positive cases relating to the variant have increased by 30 per cent.

“Some 65 per cent of the COVID positive cases reported in the US were related to the new sub variant. Now it is being reported from various countries in the world, including India and China. Most areas in China are under lockdown due to the wide spread of the virus. But we still do not know whether the new sub variant has entered our country,” he said.

Therefore, the GMOA has requested the Health Services Director General to resume the Covid control centre activities immediately and to spread the information among the public. Dr. Aluthge also requested to recall the technical committee to implement the technical recommendations, such as wearing face masks to control the situation.

Delhi yesterday (24) reported its first monkey pox case as a 31-year-old man with no foreign travel history was diagnosed with the disease.This is the fourth monkey pox case reported in India with the previous three cases being reported from Kerala.

Meanwhile, the rapidly spreading monkey pox outbreak represents a global health emergency, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) highest level of alert, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday.

The WHO label – a “public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)” – is designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation were split on the decision, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration, prompting Tedros himself to break the deadlock, he told reporters.

“Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners,” Tedros told a media briefing in Geneva.“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus,” he added.