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In light of the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting three cases of Zika virus in India, it seems that the country’s disease surveillance programme is either not fully reporting or is withholding information about diseases in India. Even so, the data portal is being cited by the government and the WHO as one among their preparedness efforts towards managing Zika fever.
Data from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) from February 2016 to May 2017, shows that the official government database records no cases of Zika. This despite the WHO and the health ministry saying otherwise.
On May 26, WHO – and not the Indian government – publicly disclosed that three cases of Zika virus had been found in the Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. According to the WHO, the earliest case of Zika was from February 2016 and the most recent one was confirmed in January. This was after the health ministry informed the WHO of this on May 15.
On March 17, responding to a question in the parliament, Anupriya Patel, the minister of state for health and family welfare, said, “So far, only one case of laboratory positive Zika virus disease has been detected in Ahmedabad, India as part of routine laboratory surveillance in January 2017.”