Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana prepare to battle swine flu


Chandigarh: The union territory of Chandigarh and the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana have stepped up vigil against suspected swine flu cases after the country’s first death from influenza A (H1N1).

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“We got revised guidelines from the central government Wednesday evening and we called an emergency meeting of our health officials today to deliberate on them. We have formulated a foolproof plan to deal with this menace,” H.C. Gera, Chandigarh’s nodal officer for swine flu, told IANS Thursday.

“So far, 44 suspected cases of swine flu have been reported from Chandigarh hospitals and six of them have tested positive. Three suspected cases are admitted in isolated wards. There is no need to panic as we are fully equipped to deal with the situation,” he said.

In Haryana, 155 suspected swine flu cases have been reported and 27 of them have reported positive for influenza A(H1N1) virus.

“Twenty-two of these patients have been discharged from the hospital while five of them are recuperating in a Delhi hospital. These patients had either come from abroad or were in direct contact with already infected persons,” said the Haryana health department spokesperson.

“We have geared up our rapid response teams and directed our units of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) to upgrade their surveillance for the suspected symptoms in their respective districts,” he added.

Punjab has reported over 15 positive swine flu cases, including a Japanese tourist, who had come here to attend a business conference.

“Especially after the death in Pune, we have become doubly cautious and maintaining a strict vigil on the patients reporting swine flu symptoms. We have sufficient stocks of anti-viral medicines and trained staff to handle any kind of emergency,” said a Punjab health official here.

In June, 14 students of a private school in Jalandhar were quarantined in the civil hospital in that city after they showed swine flu symptoms. Seven of them tested positive for the infection.

These students were part of a group of 31 students and three teachers of the Guru Amar Das Public School that went on an educational trip to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US.