Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Friday said the city government has directed authorities to conduct early screening to detect cases of influenza in the national Capital. Addressing a press conference, Bharadwaj said the city government has no plan for making masks mandatory. The focus is on taking precautionary measures such as avoiding public places, washing hands etc, he added.
The advisory issued by the Delhi health department encourages people of Delhi to use tissues, and handkerchiefs to cover while coughing and sneezing. It also asks people to stay away from sick people and maintain one arm's length distance. People are advised to follow the same guidelines and Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Speaking at the press conference, Bharadwaj said that though the peak of seasonal influenza is usually over by March, a large number of cases are being registered this time in parts of the country.
"Patients with flu-like symptoms and patients with severe respiratory complaints will be monitored in the OPD and IPD of hospitals in all districts of Delhi to ensure early screening. If early rising trends are seen anywhere, they will be detected well in time. Apart from this, the government will advertise this in different languages through newspapers and FM radio in a few days. Through these advertisements, awareness will be spread among the people," he added.
"People who have had severe asthma or Covid are among those impacted the most by influenza. The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of corona infection and the prevention of corona and influenza are the same. In such a situation, people should avoid going to crowded places. If you have a cough and cold, do not touch public things in public places. Keep washing your hands from time to time. Do not put your hands on your nose, eyes, mouth, etc.
Bharadwaj also said that the city government has no plan for making masks mandatory urged the people to stay away from crowded places.
'Delhi is not one of the six states where the cases of Covid and influenza are increasing. But we are working to tackle the situation,' said Bharadwaj. Citizens above 65 and those having lung diseases need to be more careful and are advised to stay away from crowded places, he added.
"However, we are issuing an advisory to check the spread of influenza. The precautionary measures to be followed in case of influenza and Covid are the same," Bharadwaj said.
"Instructions have been issued to district surveillance units, health facilities and government hospitals authorities to monitor the situation on a daily basis. All districts have been asked to ensure early screening to detect cases," he said.