Atiq Khan

Rapid response teams of doctors constituted in all districts

LUCKNOW: Rapid response teams of doctors have been constituted in all districts of Uttar Pradesh as the State government declared an alert against swine flu and launched preventive measures on a war footing. All the medical colleges and district hospitals have been sensitised and isolation wards have been readied for treating the A(H1N1) positive patients.

Of the 13 blood samples tested here by the microbiology lab of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences since July 27, only one has tested positive — a five-year-old boywho came here from London about six days back. He was taken to the SGPGI by his parents a couple of days back and the positive result was confirmed by the lab yesterday.

Uttar Pradesh has only one P2 lab at the SGPGI to test for the virus.

Meanwhile, a team of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) is coming here on Monday to review the situation and suggest measures to control swine flu.

The State Chief Secretary, Atul Kumar Gupta told journalists here on Sunday that rapid response teams have been deployed at the Amausi airport in Lucknow and at the Babatpur airport in Varanasi. These teams would function round the clock and arrangements have been made to treat the patients.

“Land immigration check points” have been constituted at three points in Maharajganj, Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts along the Indo-Nepal border in the State, where medical facilities would be available through the day , Mr. Gupta said. Arrangements for detecting the virus and referring the afflicted persons to the government hospitals have also been made at all important tourist centres.

A round the clock control room has been established in the office of the Chief Medical Officer, Lucknow, and a rapid response team has also been stationed there.

Mr. Gupta said in a bid to create awareness amongst the people and prevent panicking , directives have been sent to the Health Department to educate people about swine flu. He said separate beds have been allocated in all the medical colleges for treating the affected patients, and ventilator facilities were made available in the medical colleges and the SGPGI.

Blood samples taken in Meerut, Saharanpur and Moradabad divisions would be sent for testing to the NICD, while those of the remaining 14 divisional commissionaries would be sent to both the SGPGI and the NICD.

Stating that hospitalisation of the affected persons and the prescription of Tamiflu would be strictly on doctor’s advice, Mr. Gupta said medicines would be given free of cost .

Belying the popular notion that the disease was incurable once the virus set in, Mr. Gupta said treatment was possible and there was no need to panic. He said according to senior officials of the Health Department, the A(H1N1) virus is a “non-lethal infection.” However, its impact was more if treatment was delayed. .