The First Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday instructed the State government to issue a direction to officers of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Health Sub Centres to visit swine flu-affected houses and other houses to control the situation.
The Bench, comprising Chief Justice M. Yusuf Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, also wanted the government to provide all possible treatment to the 130 persons afflicted with swine flue and submit a report about the result of treatment.
“It is needless to say that the monitoring committee should continue to monitor the situation,” the Bench said after the State government submitted a report in the court on swine flue situation and steps taken by it to control the disease.
The government report came after R. Balasubramanian, an advocate affiliated to the AIADMK, wanted a direction from the court to give proper treatment to every one.
In his report, Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj stated that of the 3,596 samples tested so far, 774 were found positive. Six hundred and thirty five cases were treated and the patients discharged. Nine deaths were reported. Other patients were under treatment.
“Availability of vaccines for H1N1 fever has been given wide publicity. Vaccination at the lowest cost has been arranged at King Institute, Guindy, and Chennai Corporation Laboratories, Chennai,” the report said.
The government also told the court about free vaccination to families living below poverty line. It had sanctioned Rs.15 crore for vaccination of 10 lakh people initially. For the others, vaccination would be available at the lowest cost.
The Health Department had commenced screening of school and college students, besides creating isolation wards in all medical college hospitals and district headquarters hospitals to manage the patients afflicted with H1N1 flu. “Adequate antiviral drugs and Tamiflu tablets and syrups have been issued to all government medical institutions and adequate quantity has been stocked in the headquarters,” the report said.
As regards Kanyakumari, Chennai, Vellore and Coimbatore districts, where the virus had spread, the government was carrying out intensive screening of fever cases in colleges, schools and houses.
All the 1,539 PHCs, 8,706 Health Sub Centres and local body health staff were involved in active case finding through house visits and health education. The list of fever cases admitted to hospitals was being collected and Health Inspectors visited the affected houses and organised control measures.