Two more swine flu deaths in India, toll jumps to 68


Pune/Mumbai : India reported two more swine flu deaths Wednesday with a 28-year-old businessman in Mumbai and a 35-year-old woman in Pune succumbing to the H1N1 viral infection, taking the total national toll to 68.

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In the Maharashtra capital Mumbai, Sandeep Gaikwad died due to the virus at the Hiranandani Hospital, according to an official. This was the seventh H1N1 death reported from India’s financial capital.

Gaikwad was admitted to the hospital three weeks ago in a serious condition. Despite the long treatment, the resident of Kandivli suburb in northwest Mumbai did not recover and passed away early Wednesday morning.

About 34 people, who have tested positive for the swine flu, are undergoing treatment in various city hospitals, according to a Mumbai Disaster Control Room official.

In Pune, the “epicentre” of the disease, a 35-year-old woman died at the Sassoon Hospital.

Shabana Quadir Shaikh was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition four days ago, the official from the State Swine Flu Control Room said.

With Shaikh’s death, the toll in the city has gone up to 24. The test report of one more death is awaited, officials said.

Presently, there are 109 H1N1 positive cases undergoing treatment in various city hospitals in Pune, which has recorded the highest number of casualties and swine flu afflicted patients in Maharashtra.

With the two deaths WEdnesday, the national toll has jumped to 68.

There were also concerns about delayed test results in various places in the country.

The test results of a two-year-old girl in Bhopal, who was the first H1N1 case in the city and has already gone home after full recovery, came only Tuesday evening — 12 days after her samples were sent for verification.

Doctors at the State Swine Flu Control Room said the girl was admitted to the Gandhi Medical College (GMC) Hospital Aug 13 with flu-like symptoms and her samples were sent for testing the same day.

They said Ananya Shrivastava recuperated completely and neither her parents nor any other relative had shown any signs of the infection.

“My child is now keeping well and is in good health,” said V.K. Shrivastava, Ananya’s father. “She was administered medicines for normal fever and cold, and has improved without medicines prescribed for swine flu.”

About 3,095 people have been infected with the virus in the country.

According to WHO, about 182,166 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide till Aug 21, while 1,799 people have died, mostly in Mexico and the US.