Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI: Though the World Health Organisation had declared A (H1N1) as a Phase 6 pandemic, there is no need for panic, given the size and population of the country, and the small number of confirmed cases reported so far.

This was stated by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here on Friday.

“We want to reassure the people that there is no need for panic. The disease is fully curable and we have enough stock of medicines. With a six-year-old girl who flew in from the U.S. testing positive for the flu in Hyderabad, the country now has 16 swine flu cases. Most of the cases reported are from people who have come here from abroad. We have treated five patients already and they have been discharged,” he said.

The country was fully prepared to face the A (H1N1) challenge. Sixteen more laboratories have been activated and 10 million doses of Tamiflu procured and rapid response teams trained at the State level to contain the situation, he said.

Joint Secretary (Health and Family Welfare Ministry) Vineet Chowdhury said: “We will be introducing thermal scanners at the Delhi airport soon for screening. The government has also decentralised its medicine stock and distributed it to seven centres across the country, including New Delhi, Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati.”

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