International airports to get 24 new thermal scanners

International airports to get 24 new thermal scanners

169New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) The health ministry plans to set up 24 new thermal scanner equipment at international airports in the country to check the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), a official said here Thursday.

“Presently, there are 18 scanners at the international airports. We propose adding 24 new thermal scanner equipment to cover all international airports for checking all incoming passengers, especially those travelling from African destinations,” Arun Kumar Panda, additional secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said while inaugurating a seminar on ‘National Diabetes Summit 2014’, organised by Assocham.

He said more than 33,000 passengers have already been screened till Nov 20 with the help of the existing 18 thermal scanners.

Emphasising the efficacy of the National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), Delhi and National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for disease control, Panda said: “Four new labs will be readied to scale up the capacity.”

“The World Health Organisation recommends exit screening of passengers from the badly affected countries, it does not recommend entry screening but we are doing the entry screening also,” he said.

Speaking about the increase in diabetes, V. Mohan, director and chief of Diabetes Research, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and chairman and chief of Diabetology said Indians with pre-diabetes convert faster to diabetes than other ethnic groups. “However, this also gives us a wonderful window of opportunity to prevent diabetes in those who are pre-diabetic and are in the high risk group.”

“Health care for diabetes must be offered at the primary care level, secondary level and at the tertiary care level. Our Knowledge Report puts together the available data in India both on the prevalence of diabetes as well as on the prevalence of the various complications of diabetes,” he said.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who also attended the event said: “India has taken steps towards an integrated approach to diabetes prevention and control.”

“Efforts are needed to educate the public about diabetes risk factors, prevention and complications, using clear and simple message. There is an urgent need to develop better surveillance system,” she said.

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