Hyderabad, Jun 24: India remains polio free and there is no need to panic about the Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) detected here earlier this month, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said today.
"I would like to tell people that this Vaccine Derived Polio Virus is not a case of wild polio virus. No incidence of polio virus has been reported for the past five years. The WHO has certified that India is polio free...India remains polio virus free. That should be very clear.
"This Vaccine Derived Polio Virus is found in testing from time to time. Such virus will be reported somewhere. There is no need to panic," he told reporters here.
Nadda was speaking after reviewing the special immunisation drive undertaken in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts in the wake of VDPV being found here, with state Health Minister C Laxma Reddy and officials.
The strain of the polio virus was detected in laboratory tests of samples collected from a Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) at Amberpet here. The virus was found in the checks conducted as part of the monitoring system that was put in place after polio was eradicated from India in 2011.
"International protocols designed by WHO to detect polio virus have been followed. The detection of the virus proves that our surveillance system is robust. Whatever has to be done (after detection) has been done in coordination with WHO and UNICEF," Nadda said.
Nadda said 2,10,626 children have been vaccinated (in the past four days). "This is more than the expected number," he said. The Union Minister said one lakh additional vaccines have been provided to Telangana. Appreciating the efforts put in by the state government in undertaking the drive, he said the Centre was ready to provide whatever support was needed by Telangana.
"We are in close touch with the state government," he said. Admitting that there was shortage of health workers here, the minister said more workers have been pooled in from neighbouring districts.