"We are closely monitoring the situation of Zika cases and all necessary steps have been initiated to ensure that India is well prepared in case of any eventuality", said Health Minister JP Nadda at a meeting held to take stock of the recent cases of Zika in the world.

The minister directed the authorities to set up a technical group that would monitor the situation arising out of the spread of Zika virus in other countries and suggest steps that would need to be taken in India.

"We are focusing on especially strengthening the surveillance system", said the minister.

The minister called for increased focus on prevention to control the spread of the Aedes mosquito that breeds in clean water and is implicated in the spread of the Zika virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, was spreading explosively in the Americas.

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