District Collector Sanjay Kaul said here on Friday that there was no reason to panic over A(H1NI) influenza cases in the district, as the district administration had taken all necessary measures to contain the spread of the disease.

The District Collector who addressed a press conference along with District Medical Officer N. Sreedhar said the 17 cases that had been reported in the district were those who had arrived in the city from abroad. “Of these, 16 patients had recovered,” he said.

Mr. Kaul said the disease did not pose an emergency situation in the district as yet. “But we are making all necessary arrangements to ward off any eventuality in the future.” The triple-layered masks would be made available at all the seven government hospitals and the six private hospitals that have been identified to set up screening centres, he said.

As the facility for throat swab to trace the virus was currently available only at the General Hospital, only patients referred from the screening centres would be admitted to the General Hospital to avoid overcrowding.

The District Medical Officer said an awareness drive would be conducted to inform the public about precautionary measures against the disease. The drive will involve the staff and students of educational institutions.

He said the district had sufficient stock of the drug Tamiflu.

Private hospitals that have been identified for starting screening centres are the CSI Medical College, Karaikkonam, SUT Academy of Medical Sciences, Vattappara, SUT Hospital, Pattom, NIMS Hospital, Neyyattinkara and Gokulam Medical College, Venjaramoodu.

A special training session for all medical practitioners and field-level officers will begin on Monday. At the school level, the first phase of the awareness campaign, involving school headmasters and principals will begin on August 21. The training will also include an awareness drive for doctors working in private hospitals in association with the Indian Medical Association.

The figures provided by the district administration show that a total of 2,34,188 passengers have been screened at the Thiruvananthapuram airport since May 3. Of this, 90,254 passengers arrived from countries with known cases of A(H1N1) influenza. For enquiries and information, contact Helpline ph: 2466828.

Keywords: A(H1N1) fluKerala