A surveillance committee has been set up by the State government to monitor persons who have contracted the AH1N1 virus (swine flu) in private hospitals, said Health Minister, V.S. Vijay. This measure has been put in place following a lag in communication between the Chennai Corporation and private hospitals, when 22-year-old Niveditha, died in a private hospital on Monday.

Mr. Vijay said tenders, floated by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited (TNMSC), will open on Friday, to procure vaccines at a cost of Rs. 55 lakh. “We will procure 20,000 doses of two vaccines: the H1N1 intramuscular vaccine and H1N1 nasal spray,” said Satyabrata Sahoo, managing director, TNMSC. “On April 27, a tender will be floated to procure 3,000 bottles of Oseltamivir, a medicine for children,” said Mr. Sahoo, adding that the State would also procure additional stocks of Tamiflu from the Cente.

Special isolation wards have been set up in the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet and all medical college hospitals in the city. “Due to space constraints, persons with symptoms are also being referred to other government hospitals. All patients in Chennai are recovering well,” said a senior corporation health official.

The public health department has urged people with throat pain or colds to approach government hospitals or authorised medical centres and not self-medicate. For details, call: 044 -24350496.

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