Zika cases in Ahmedabad: Gujarat cites WHO ‘mistake’, says no campaign needed

At a press meet, state chief secretary J N Singh said the first positive case was reported in November 2016 and not in February 2016, as stated by WHO.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Published:May 29, 2017 5:44 am
zika, zika virus india, zika virus, zika gujarat, zika ahmedabad, zika effects, india news, indian express news Zika virus in India: According to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, it had no information about positive zika cases and took only preventive measures as per state government’s directives. (AP Photo/File)

A day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported the first three “laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease” in India — all from Ahmedabad, the Gujarat government Sunday said there was no need for a specific campaign to prevent spread of the virus in the city. The government also cited a “mistake” by the WHO in reporting the first case, and noted that the patients belonged to separate localities.

At a press meet, state chief secretary J N Singh said the first positive case was reported in November 2016 and not in February 2016, as stated by WHO. He also said all the three cases were not from Bapunagar — the third patient belonged to Gopalnagar.

Singh also spoke about the WHO protocol in ensuring a regimented surveillance. However, asked about the WHO protocol for Zika virus, mandating informing community leaders, officials and the media, he said , “These were isolated cases. If there were reports of spread of the disease, there would have been warnings.”

According to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, it had no information about positive zika cases and took only preventive measures as per state government’s directives. State government officials, however, said all decisions were taken by the Centre.

‘No link between three zika cases’

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Sunday said there was no established link between the three persons detected with Zika infection. “All these three cases — two from Bapunagar and one from Gopalnagar — are random. There is no relation between any of these cases. They are from middle-class families with no foreign travel history,” AMC commissioner Mukesh Kumar said at a press meet. Kumar declined to have information about where the patients were informed about the Zika infection. “In 80 per cent cases, patients are not aware about Zika. Public health in Ahmedabad is in a good state, no need to get scared,” he said.

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