A five-year-old girl Alisha succumbed to swine flu om Delhi taking the toll to 10 since January, while in Telangana, the disease is spreading unabated with 33 new cases reported, officials said.
According to the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Alisha died Feb 13 at Hindu Rao hospital in the national capital. “The death happened much before, however, it was reported today (Feb 26),” said an official of the DHS. In all, 137 new cases of swine flu were found positive as of Thursday in Delhi, taking the total number of swine flu cases this year to 2,708.
In Hyderabad, the health authorities said they had sent 139 samples for tests at the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) here and out of them, 33 were found to have H1N1 virus.
This has taken the number of swine flu cases to 1,385 since January. The virus has so far claimed 54 lives, the majority of them in Hyderabad and neighbouring Ranga Reddy district.
According to a bulletin by the health department, 4,381 samples were screened for H1N1 this year.
The number of swine flu cases was expected to come down with the rise in temperature but the public health officials are surprised over significant number being reported every day.
Health experts, however, said the swine flu cases would not disappear immediately with the rise of day temperatures and believe it may take some more time.
Rajasthan too is reeling under the epidemic with 6 more deaths as on Thursday, taking the toll to 250.
“Six more deaths were reported across the state on Thursday. Total deaths reported till Thursday touched 251 from Jan 1 in the state,” a medical and health department official told IANS.
Total positive cases as of Thursday evening were 5,262, out of which 2,039 are from Jaipur alone, the official said.
Jaipur also accounted for the maximum deaths at 51 followed by Ajmer at 29 and Jodhpur at 28.
Meanwhile, state assembly witnessed uproarious scenes Thursday as the opposition parties including the Congress demanded resignation of Medical and Health Minister Rajendra Rathore.
Congress legislators, while raising the issue of swine flu, demanded compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the families of those who died due to the H1N1 virus.
The opposition also staged a walk out over the issue in the assembly.
Rathore, while making a statement, said that the state government is concerned and is doing all it can to stop the spread of the disease.
“The mortality rate in the state due to swine flu is about 4.7 percent, which is much lower than other states,” he said.
The state government has so far distributed 32 lakh Tamiflu tablets across the state, he said.
“Besides allopathy, we have also taken help of homeopathy, unani and ayurvedic system of medicine for controlling the disease. We are also conducting door to door surveys and have distributed Tamiflu tablets to persons showing symptoms like swine flu in nearby 50 houses where a swine flu patient has been found,” he said adding that test for swine flu has been made free in six government medical colleges, the desert research centre in Jodhpur and three private labs.
A high level task force on swine flu has also been set up to monitor the situation on daily basis, he added.
Uttar Pradesh has reported 33 new swine flu cases and the total number of H1N1 patients as of Friday climbed to 359, officials said.
A nurse at a government hospital tested positive, triggering panic in the health fraternity and forcing the health department to issue new guidelines for prevention of the disease.
The health officials are worried because patients were now coming from new areas such as Aliganj, Niralanagar, Gomtinagar and Vikasnagar.
With a drop in temperature coupled with heavy rains, officials feared a spurt in H1N1 cases in the state capital.
Meanwhile, the testing facilities in the city remained largely ineffective as over a dozen people complained that neither the Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI) nor any other state government hospital was attending to patients with swine flu symptoms.
“There is a huge paucity of testing labs in the city and therefore patients and potential risk people are suffering,” a senior citizen told IANS. He was trying to get his son tested after he showed symptoms of the flu after returning from New Delhi.
Doctors in various government hospitals, however, said that 200 patients suffering from swine flu have recovered and have been discharged.
Acting on the directives of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, the health department will begin selling masks through kiosks in public places.
“Masks will be sold through kiosks and stalls outside schools, malls and other public areas,” said S.N. Yadav, chief medical officer of Lucknow.
He said this facility will be initiated within the next few days. Officials also said an awareness campaign has been undertaken and 25 hoardings have been put up in the city.
In other parts of the state, three cases were reported from Mainpuri, two from Bijnore, one from Bahraich and a few other cases from the eastern parts.
In West Bengal, the death toll due to swine flu rose to six with the death of a person at a city hospital while the number of positive cases went up to 100, an official said.
“The swine flu toll now is six after a person died today at a city hospital. In the last 24 hours, 11 new cases have been recorded which takes the number of positive cases to 100 in the state,” said Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Malay Kumar De.
Of the 11 new cases, nine were from the city while one each was reported from North 24 Parganas and Howrah districts.