The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday handed over 300 PCR testing kits for the detection of monkeypox to the Sindh health department, which would provide them to three public and private health facilities in Karachi, officials said.

AKUH, Ojha and CHK get over 300 monkeypox testing kits from WHO

Today, we have received 300 PCR kits for the detection of monkeypox from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which would be handed over to two public and a private health facilites in Karachi. No suspected case has so far been reported from anywhere in the province or the rest of the country, but we want to equip our health facilities with tools to detect the viral infection,” Dr Juman Bahoto, director general health of Sindh, told The News.

Officials at the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad also confirmed that they had acquired the PCR kits for the testing of the monkeypox virus. They added that they were ready to test samples from across Pakistan, adding that so far no sample had been tested.

According to WHO, over 1,000 cases have been confirmed in 29 countries where this disease is not endemic. The Sindh health director general said all the 300 PCR kits would be equally distributed among the Civil Hospital Karachi, the Public Health Laboratory at the Dow University’s Ojha Campus and the Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi. He added that the district health officers (DHOs) would be directed to send samples of suspected people to any of these facilities for detection.

Although infectious diseases experts believe that monkeypox is “less likely” to become a pandemic like Covid-19 despite being a Zoonotic disease, which spreads from animals to humans, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad has already issued an alert directing all federal and provincial health authorities to remain on “high alert” for any suspected case.

According to AKUH infectious diseases specialist Dr Faisal Mehmood, monkeypox is less likely to become a pandemic like Covid-19 as it was less contagious than the coronavirus, but the authorities should remain on high alert for its detection.

“So the good thing is that compared to Covid, this is less contagious. Secretions of an infected person are contagious and you need closer contact to get the infection,” Dr Faisal said, adding that a person was infectious on the day of symptoms and not a few days before (like in the case of Covid-19). It was easier to identify people who are sick, he said, adding that people who were sick would seek care, as in this case, they would not think this was a routine cough and cold type disease. Hospitals and clinics just needed to be vigilant,

Source: This news is originally published by thenews

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