NEW DELHI — Authorities in the Indian capital region Delhi Saturday said they were on alert in the wake of a spike in Zika virus cases in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh.
On Saturday, 13 new cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district, which took the case tally to 79 in the state during the past two weeks.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Saturday said his government was alert and watchful of the developments.
“Our system is on alert,” Sisodia said. “If any case is reported, we will tackle it.”
Uttar Pradesh shares a border with Delhi and thousands of people commute to and back from the capital region.
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh have deputed municipal corporation teams to the affected areas to tackle the situation. The teams are carrying out inspections and taking required measures like fogging to destroy mosquito breeding points.
All government hospitals in the state have also been put on high alert , and surveillance has been intensified to control and identify the cases of Zika virus infection.
“Meanwhile arrangements have been made in all hospitals for the treatment of virus-infected people,” a health official said. “Surveillance in hospitals has been improved and patients are being monitored strictly.”
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus, which was first identified in 1947. The virus was not considered a major health threat until a major outbreak in Brazil in 2015 revealed that it can lead to severe birth defects when pregnant women are infected.
In India, the first outbreak of Zika virus was reported in 2017.