Sex workers urge Azad to help them tackle swine flu


New Delhi: Fearing that swine flu could spread faster in red light areas as they are frequented by hundreds of foreigners, an association of sex workers Tuesday wrote to Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad requesting that doctors be sent to check them for flu and face masks be provided.

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“Sex workers are as vulnerable to swine flu as they are to AIDS. Foreigners visit them and red light areas may turn into swine flu clusters,” Khairati Lal Bhola, chief of the NGO Patita Udhar Samiti, said after a meeting with sex workers and their representatives here.

“There are several red light areas in Maharashtra and the swine flu situation in the state is bad. The case is almost similar in Delhi. We have written to the health minister to provide us adequate health facilities,” Bhola told IANS.

He said there is urgent need to send specialized team of doctors to check sex workers and their kids who are suffering from fever and showing swine flu-like symptoms. There are tens of thousands of sex workers in the country.

Bhola said they have also requested the Delhi government to send a team of doctors to the red light area in the capital as many children of sex workers there are suffering from fever and may have contracted the disease.

Swine flu has so far infected 960 people in the country while 10 have succumbed to the infection.