The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in West Bengal rose to 19 on Thursday with six persons testing positive for the A(H1N1) virus.

“The results of six people, who had been put on home quarantine earlier, came in through the day. They have all been admitted to the I D (Infectious Diseases) hospital,” said Taposh Sen, nodal officer of the State Health department’s swine flu wing.

Twelve people have been admitted to the isolation ward of the hospital of which nine are confirmed cases. The results of three suspected victims, including 4-year-old boy from Dhaka who was screened at the airport, are awaited.

Officials of the State’s Health department fear that it is going to become increasingly difficult to contain the spread of the virus in the State.

“In the medical history of several of these cases, we have not been able to establish foreign travel or contact with a person who tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus,” said Dr. Sen.

Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Centre will conduct 10-day medical camps across the State .

“There is inadequate infrastructure and manpower at the I D hospital. We will conduct camps where information about swine flu and other diseases including malaria and dengue can be disseminated,” Ms. Banerjee said. Accusing the State government of inefficiency in dealing with the problem, she said that since health was a State subject, there wasn’t much that the Centre can do about the outbreak.

The State’s Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty has convened a meeting with the officials of the Health department on Friday to discuss the situation and determine measures to be taken to check the spread of the virus.

A nodal officer from the Union Health Ministry visited the city and reviewed the situation with the State’s Health Secretary, Mr. Chakraborty said.

“What is required is caution but there is no need to panic” said Mr. Chakraborty. It is important that precautions taken at the individual level, he added.

Keywords: Swine FluA(H1N1)