Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Even as no swine flu case was detected in India yet, the State government on Friday put all chief medical officers on high alert and directed them to undertake surveillance for influenza like illness and severe acute respiratory infections.

At high-level State Coordination Committee meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy here, it was decided to instruct superintendents of government medical colleges and chief district medical officers to keep isolation wards ready for emergency situation.

The committee was informed that medical officers had been provided guidelines on clinical management of cases and procedures for sample collection and transportation and moreover, Tamiflu tablets, personal protective equipment and mask had been stocked.

Similarly, fisheries and animal resource development (F&ARD) department said a close watch was kept on the swine population through out the State and their movements in the border districts.

“Instructions have been issued that report or suspicion of symptoms should be verified immediately and samples should be collected from all suspected cases and sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSDAL), Bhopal for testing,” F&ARD told the committee.

The department also said instructions had been issued to create awareness among farmers and the public in general regarding they symptoms of swine influenza.

It is to be noted that the State government had little information about existing pig population and their rearing. Since mostly people those keep pigs are nomadic and up-to-date survey has not been done.

Both health and F&ARD departments have opened control rooms to keep track on the issue as well as react at earliest.

Paradip Port Trust (PPT) that handles foreign vessels and their crewmembers was asked to coordinate in the matter. PPT deputy chairman Biplab Kumar informed that the crew and visitors from affected countries were being checked and provisions for quarantine had been made.

The State government, however, said there was no cause of panic in view of news pouring in about swine flu danger.