Afshan Yasmeen

Bangalore: The panic in Pune caused by the nation’s first case of H1N1-related death has had a cascading effect on Bangalore. Screening process here has been affected as testing of samples at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has come to a halt in the light of the institute receiving hundreds of samples from Pune itself.

As a result, the reports of 35 throat and nasal swabs sent from Bangalore to NIV on Wednesday for examination have not been received yet. Though the Union Health Ministry has identified NIMHANS in the city as a testing centre, it can declare the results only after the Pune NIV confirms them. Besides, it can handle a maximum of 20 samples a day, which has put both the State health officials and doctors treating H1N1 cases in a quandary.

Confirming that the H1N1 testing had come to a standstill, State Joint Director (Communicable Diseases) T.S. Cheluvaraju told The Hindu that the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Pune, had been contacted for help. “With the Pune NIV loaded with samples of panic-stricken people, it is obvious that it cannot handle any more samples from outside. We have not received the reports of samples sent on Wednesday and this has made matters worse for us,” he said. Doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest diseases, who had a tough time convincing people who thronged to the hospital for screening, collected 95 samples on Thursday.

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