Sufficient time has passed since swine flu first hit the country in May but the government is yet to take the issue seriously. The most necessary step would be to make people aware of the disease and its causes, especially in villages where people are still unaware of the deadly virus.

Despite the increasing death toll, the government has not provided the people easy access to centres which can detect the virus. Most of the deaths were due to late diagnosis. Every effort should be made to restrict the virus from spreading.

Subhajit Maity,

Bellary

* * *

The government’s response to the crisis triggered by swine flu is far from satisfactory. Why has it not come out so far with press releases and advertisements in the media, educating the public on what to do, what not to do, the symptoms, the details of the hospitals to be approached in each area, etc.? That the government did not wake up earlier in the day is unfortunate.

R. Radha Krishnan,

Chennai

* * *

When even a developed country like the United States has struggled to control the spread of swine flu, it is unimaginable to think of what could happen if it spreads in our villages. We are lucky that the virus entered our country quite late.

The first case of swine flu was reported in May but our leaders did not take it seriously. They even said the situation was under control. Today, with the swine flu taking a serious turn and claiming 10 lives, the government is in a fix. We have failed to nip the problem in the bud.

S. Bala Krishnan,

Secunderabad

* * *

Ten persons have lost their lives because those in power were not serious about handling the pandemic. The approach is typical of our politicians’ attitude — lack of concern.

S. Ravi Thangavel,

Jayankondam

* * *

Swine flu is spreading across the country. The existing medical infrastructure seems hopelessly inadequate. It is, therefore, time alternative systems of medicine were explored for remedy.

Arun Malankar,

Mumbai

* * *

The world has indeed shrunk into a global village. What started as almost a “foreign disease” in some distant shore has crept in menacingly and is growing into a diabolical monster. Why is it that we woke up only when the enemy started taking its toll?

Sanjukta Kundu,

Visakhapatnam

* * *

Kudos to The Hindu for publishing the WHO’s guidelines (Aug. 11) for the prevention and care of A(HINI). They should have been carried on page one. The guidelines should be displayed prominently in public places. Computer-savvy readers could forward them to others.

A. Hariharan,

Coimbatore

* * *

It is the testing centres that seem to be the agents of spreading swine flu. It is, therefore, important to take elementary precautions there. Adequate seating arrangements with adequate spacing should be provided to patients. Retaining them for hours in queues should be avoided. A fixed landline telephone number can be provided for an ambulance service for suspected patients of swine flu. They can thus avoid travelling by public transport. More private hospitals should be asked to perform the tests and start treatment as per government guidelines.

V. Vijayamohan,

Chennai

* * *

Hygiene not being our strong point, the A(H1N1) virus is likely to infect many more. There is an urgent need to employ more doctors who can deal with the epidemic and screen foreigners coming from “unsafe” countries.

Ippili Santhosh Kumar,

Srikakulam

* * *

It is requested that schools avoid tours and advance their examinations so that children can have longer spells of quarterly holidays and remain safe. Publicising safety guidelines in newspapers, magazines and television channels would be in order.

R. Ponnarasi,

Vellore

* * *

As the deadly flu spreads, one wonders whether we need to have a large crowd during Independence Day; we can avoid overcrowding in marriage and cinema halls for the next three months; and we can avoid congregating in religious festivals and places of worship.

S. Shanmugam,

Tirunelveli

* * *

It is amusing to see people, especially the educated and air travellers, wearing surgical masks with the hope of warding off swine flu. In Mumbai and Pune, the mask is sold for a high price though it cannot filter the virus. Masks help to keep saliva droplets from spreading when the infected persons cough or sneeze. According to the Public Health Authority, Canada, the swine flu virus can live outside the body on hard surfaces such as door handles, stainless steel articles, plastics, etc., for 24 to 48 hours. Those who wear masks should start using hand gloves too.

S. Ganesan,

Hyderabad

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The deaths caused by swine flu are primarily the result of delayed diagnosis and treatment in private hospitals. The government did start training medical officers in public hospitals a month ago and doctors in medical colleges were also roped in. But private doctors who man most of the country’s health care were not trained. The disastrous results are evident.

Manoj Grover,

New Delhi

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The increase in the number of deaths due to swine flu is a matter of serious concern. We have to ensure that our surroundings are clean. The efforts made by the government will be more effective only if the people cooperate.

C. Mansoor,

Malappuram

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