Amid COVID-19 scare, Meerut grapples with swine flu

Eight people have died and 86 cases of H1N1 have been reported in the city

Published - March 06, 2020 02:00 am IST - Ghaziabad

While Delhi-NCR is grappling with the COVID-19 scare, with one case of COVID-19 reported from Ghaziabad on Thursday, neighbouring Meerut is reeling under the effect of H1N1 influenza, popularly known as swine flu.

According to Meerut district officials, 8 people have died and 86 cases of H1N1 have been reported in the city, including 21 constables of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC). “One more case of a female RAF constable has come to light. Out of 21 PAC constables, 20 have been discharged after treatment,” said Dr. Raj Kumar, Chief Medical Officer.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Kumar denied the charge that the rise in number of cases is due to lack of isolation wards in hospitals. “We are fully prepared. 114 beds have been earmarked in different hospitals for the patients of swine flu. It is a seasonal outbreak. The cases will subside as the temperature will increase. Last year, we had 380 cases of swine flu,” he said.

On the cause of deaths, Mr. Kumar said in all cases the patients were suffering from other ailments as well. “Swine flu becomes fatal when the patient’s immunity level is low,” he said.

Besides, swine flu, he said, awareness is also being spread about the COVID-19 infection. “No case of coronavirus has been reported from Meerut so far. The tests for the two are different but the precations are almost similar,” he said.

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