A 28-year-old pregnant woman has died of swine flu here, taking the toll in the viral infection in the city to 26.

Roopali Jore, who died on Friday night, had been put on ventilator after her admission to a private hospital on August 20.She had tested positive for the virus, officials said.

With cases of the viral infection continuing to pour in, Pune District Collector Chandrakant Dalvi has appealed to private hospitals to screen the patients who approached them with flu symptoms and not to summarily direct them to the already overburdened civic and government hospitals.

He also asked people to avoid crowding at public places and Ganesh utsav pandals in the city, the worst hit by the influenza virus in the country.

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