West Bengal asks hospitals to ready isolation beds for monkeypox cases 


KOLKATA: The West Bengal government has asked hospitals in the state to set up separate facilities to accommodate patients coming from abroad with symptoms of monkeypox, officials said on Friday.

In an advisory, the Health Department asked hospitals to keep isolation beds ready and directed them to collect samples from suspected patients and send those to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.

“Although monkeypox has not been reported in India, but with new cases being detected from various countries, chances of this disease occurring in India cannot be ruled out,” the advisory said.

The note was sent to all district administrations, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the superintendents of all medical colleges.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director-general Samiran Panda said, “At the moment, there is no evidence of monkeypox virus in the body of anyone in India, but we must maintain caution. Anyone coming from a foreign country or from abroad should be kept in isolation as soon as symptoms like fever and headache are seen.”