The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that Parliament had been informed about Zika cases in India in March. “The Zika virus disease case was reported as part of an answer to a Parliament question raised by Smt Vanaroja R, MP Lok Sabha on 17th March, 2017. After due process of investigation and verification of the Zika virus disease cases, WHO was notified of all the three Zika virus disease cases on 15th May, 2017,’’ the ministry said in a statement.
“On 18th November, 2016, WHO declared that Zika disease infection no longer constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Since WHO had already withdrawn the notification of Zika virus disease as a PHEIC, the case was handled as per our existing protocol.’’
The statement came almost a week after the WHO said that three Zika cases had been detected in Ahmedabad. Sources said the statement was issued after reports about “secrecy” around the issue.
WHO corrects surveillance period
The World Health Organisation has issued a corrigendum regarding the period of surveillance for Zika in Ahmedabad. According to the corrigendum, “Acute febrile illness surveillance took place between 10 to 16 February 2017, and not 10 to 16 February 2016.”