Spike in swine flu cases in Gujarat; toll rises to 79

February 21, 2019 10:28 pm | Updated 10:29 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

The number of swine flu cases in Gujarat continue to grow. More than 2,000 people have tested positive for the H1N1 virus since January 1 and 79 persons have succumbed to it.

About 727 persons are undergoing treatment in various hospitals across the State. According to a Gujarat Health Department release, four persons died on Thursday, taking the toll to 79 while as many as 118 new cases were registered across the State.

“Since January 1, 1,497 people have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospitals in the State,” the release said.

“Gujarat is among the worst affected States due to higher number of cases and mortality,” a State government official said.

PIL spurs action

On Tuesday, the Gujarat High Court directed the State government to form a high-level committee comprising bureaucrats and health department staff to plan and take necessary measures for the control of swine flu, which has spread wide as cases have been reported from across the State.

The direction came from the division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.S. Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) pointing out the poor state of infrastructure in government-run hospitals for the detection and treatment of swine flu.

Earlier, owing to rising cases of swine flu and resultant deaths in Gujarat, the Union Health Ministry had sent a team to assess the situation and assist the State in strengthening its response mechanism to contain the viral influenza.

Centre’s advisory on preparedness

The Union Ministry has also issued an advisory for preparedness to tackle the seasonal influenza. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and its State units have enhanced the surveillance for Influenza like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI).

Further, the Drug Controller General of India has been asked to coordinate with drug manufacturers and monitor the availability of Oseltamivir - the drug recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) - in various States.

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