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Feb 25
India may be taken off polio endemic nations list
India is hoping to be taken off the list of polio endemic nations with mounting evidence to show that the transmission of the virus is at an all time low.

For the first time since November 2010, most of the environmental samples tested to know if the polio virus is circulating in the air, have been found to be negative.

When asked about the move, former president of Rotary International Rajendra Saboo told PTI, "Yes, it is possible. Things look positive and the signals are favourable too."

He said, "The process of putting India off the list is on. The WHO is the certifying body. Its monitoring board is making assessment of our progress and the process is nearing an end. Results are expected to be favourable to India."

Rotary International has been involved with the polio eradication initiative worldwide, especially in India.

Saboo said India can be put off the list of endemic nations for polio, "as we can see from the sewage samples collected that there is no polio virus in the air".

A health ministry official said, "a few samples remain to be tested. But so far majority of the samples tested from sewage disposal sites of four migration hubs of the country have been found to be negative. This is a very encouraging sign, a proxy indicator that we are well on track to eradicate polio."

Health Ministry officials said they were hoping for the WHO to assess the mounting positive evidence and come out with their report accordingly, hoping that the WHO's certification may help India move out of the endemic nation list soon.

Sources said the announcement may well be made at the two -day Polio Summit where the World Health Organisations' assistant director-general for polio, emergencies Dr Bruce Aylward will be present.

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