Amid a rise in influenza-like illnesses in China over the past month, several states in India have issued alerts directing district authorities and health officials to step up surveillance and ensure that health systems are adequately prepared.

Since mid-October, China has been experiencing an increase in cases of influenza-like illnesses compared with the same period in the previous three years when strict measures were in force as authorities enforced a zero-Covid strategy. The first cases of Covid-19 in 2019 had been reported as viral pneumonia.

On November 26, the Centre asked states and Union Territories to review the preparedness of their healthcare systems to deal with respiratory illnesses.

Here are the directives that states have issued in connection with the matter:


The Uttarakhand government directed district officers and chief medical officers to make adequate arrangements for isolation beds/wards, oxygen beds, intensive care unit beds, ventilators and oxygen cylinders to treat pneumonia and influenza flu patients, ANI reported.

An order by state Health Secretary Rajesh Kumar directed hospitals to “ensure staff availability as well as stock of required medicines”. The health secretary also told officials to keep a close watch on people experiencing symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness, or SARI.

Three districts of the state – Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pithorgarh – share land borders with China.


The Rajasthan government has told officials to formulate an action plan within three days for the prevention and treatment of the disease, PTI reported.

Additional Chief Secretary of state Medical and Health Department Shubhra Singh asked authorities to appoint a nodal officer at the district and medical college levels as well as put in place rapid response teams at the division and district levels.

She said that while the situation is not worrisome as of now, medical staff members should work with full vigilance for the surveillance and prevention of infectious diseases.


Gujarat’s health department has urged civil hospitals, sub-district hospitals, chief district health officers and health officers of municipal corporations to take stock of their preparedness to tackle respiratory ailments, PTI reported.

State Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said that health infrastructure created during the coronavirus pandemic was also being strengthened as a precautionary measure.


The Haryana government on Tuesday directed all civil surgeons in the state to strengthen surveillance mechanisms for influenza-like illnesses and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness, NDTV reported.

“While the available information suggests that there is no cause for alarm in India, but there is need to review the public health and hospital preparedness,” it said.


Maharashtra’s public health department has directed district authorities to ensure that their Covid-19 systems are fully functional, The Times of India reported.

State officials have also reportedly told local authorities to increase surveillance of hospitalised and cluster cases of influenza-like illnesses among children.