Firozpur: India is coping up with a different cross border risk from Pakistan. India especially the border areas are facing serious threats from the deadly P1 polio virus which has gripped the neighboring nation these days.

The border areas of Punjab, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir are facing higher risks of virus. In the year 2011, Pakistan has recorded 134 fresh cases of Polio.

Observing the life threatening risks of the virus, World Health Organization (WHO) has asked the Indian Government to remain alert and take necessary measures in this regard.

Announcing the serious threat, Punjab's immunization officer Dr Balwinder Singh, who has also worked with WHO, said that the P1 polio virus which is the most dangerous among its other species ‘P2 and P3’, can spread through transmission from the infected children coming from Pakistan.

Dr. Balwinder Singh along WHO official Dr. Mehtab Singh here on Friday held a meeting with the health officers in this regard.

India raised the alarm after China confirmed that polio had re-entered its territory after a gap of 10 years. Genetic analysis showed that 18 children in China were infected with polio virus. P1 virus travels faster and infects children at higher rate through infected water or unhygienic food.

“The period between July and December is considered to be the high transmission time for the contagious virus,” Balwinder said.

Seeing serious threats of the virus on the bordering regions of Punjab, team of doctors form the Health Department had set up polio vaccination booths at the Wagah border and the Attari station following Centre’s instruction in September this year. All children aged 0-5 years coming into India, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated or not, were administered the polio vaccine. Till Friday, the doctor’s team had vaccinated 232 children coming from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Bathinda Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr S Karuna Raju has asked to hold awareness generating workshops for the general public at block levels in Firozpur and Fazilka districts in the month of November.
Balwinder said that the parents of the children in the age group 0-5 years must take precautionary measures and should carry stool tests of their children immediately in case any form of weakness is observed in any part of the child’s body.

“After the AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) tests the real cause of the weakness can be determined,” he added.
Meanwhile, Civil Surgeon Dr. Rakesh Sikri has given stringent instructions to the public and private doctors to remain vigilant and submit the AFP reports on time or else serious actions can be taken.

Sikri has also expressed his concerns over the lackadaisical approach of the government over administering the threat coming from Pakistan at the international airport in the National Capital. 


JPN/Bureau