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Health ministry reviews swine flu situation in country as it spreads to more states

With the swine flu scare reaching more states, the union health ministry has reviewed the swine flu situation in various states, including Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat recently.

The meeting, chaired by additional secretary in the health ministry, A.K. Panda and attended by senior health officials of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, reviewed adequacy of isolation wards, medicines, personal protective equipment (PPE) and consumables such as masks.

The institutional preparedness of the states regarding sufficiency of testing labs and testing kits was also reviewed along with the measures taken to spread awareness among the masses for the preventive steps to be adopted and the states were asked to indicate whether any assistance was needed to augment their stock of medicines, PPE and testing kits.

Clarification was offered on certain technical issues raised by some states in terms of categorization of the patients, screening and medical intervention. The release said that most of the states have reported adequate stock of medicine along with syrup for children, and masks.

The ministry has advised for inter-state transfer of drugs to states such as Punjab and Madhya Pradesh from states which have adequate stock of the drug, to augment their supply.

PPE and testing kits will be supplied immediately from National Centre for Disease Control to states which have requisitioned them. Specialist doctors will be sent to Rajasthan to assist them in treatment of patients in critical care.

The health ministry has also advised the states to constantly monitor the situation. More than 200 people have lost their lives to swine flu till Feb 2.(IANS)

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