हिंदी साहित्य: पेन ड्राइव कोर्स
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Social Justice

Under-Reporting of Diseases due to Pandemic

  • 03 Jul 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

According to information on weekly outbreaks available on the website of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), there have been unusually fewer instances of diseases other than Covid-19 due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

  • The IDSP issues weekly reports on disease outbreaks across the country based on its surveillance network that spans at least 600 districts.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme

  • The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal is a one stop portal which has facilities for data entry, view reports, outbreak reporting, data analysis, training modules and resources related to disease surveillance.
  • It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in assistance with the World Bank, in 2004.

Key Points

  • Current Scenario:
    • The latest weekly report available on the IDSP website from Week 12 (March 16-22) of 2020 records a mere 6 disease alerts across the country.
      • An alert is when a sizable number of cases from a region are reported.
      • The six alerts include a case of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, three cases of chickenpox and a case each of dengue and food poisoning.
    • In Week 11 of 2020, there were 28 alerts, 12 of which were for Covid-19.
    • However, after 3rd May 2020, there is again an increase in reports of other diseases but the latest data suggests that it hasn’t completely normalised as compared to previous years,
  • Past Scenario:
    • In the same week in 2019, there were 17 alerts; in 2018, there were 28; and in 2017, there were 45.
    • However there are no records in 2020 after week 12, that is after March 22.
  • Reasons for Under-Reporting:
    • Lockdown and the behavioural change due to Covid-19..
    • Presence of only testing and treatment for Covid-19 available at government healthcare facilities.
    • IDSP faces a manpower crunch in the middle of a pandemic.

Way Forward

  • The neglect of other diseases has been observed by a reduction in the notifications of fresh tuberculosis infections and a general decline in claims under the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme.
  • It’s debatable how useful this would be to improve Covid-19 surveillance, but it is essential in improving overall surveillance as well as providing timely updates about present infections.The pandemic needs serious focus, but India cannot afford to ignore other diseases and infections.


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