Rida's family to file FIR; Pune reports maximum H1N1 patients

Rida's family to file FIR; Pune reports maximum H1N1 patients

Fighting flu: Government warns against false referrals to testing facility

Rida’s aunt Ayesha Shaikh and uncle Majid Shaikh in Pune on Thursday, after filing a complaint against the hospital, where Rida died due to swine flu. PTI

Nine new cases have been detected in Pune alone, the city which is the state’s cultural and educational capital and India’s second IT hub after Bangalore.

Shaikh family’s lawyer Asif Lampwala said an FIR will be filed against the two hospitals charging them under provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 304(A) (causing death by negligence).

The 14-year-old Rida was being treated at Jehangir, while her throat swab samples were sent to Ruby Hall Clinic for tests instead of National Institute of Virology (NIV). The test showed Rida suffering from pneumonia and her family has alleged that the wrong diagnosis delayed Tamiflu treatment leading to her tragic death.

Meanwhile, the Pune-based swine flu control room head Pradeep Awate told Deccan Herald that four new cases were reported from Mumbai, including State Excise Commissioner I S Chahal, who had returned from UK and complained of fever and headache. He tested positive for H1N1 flu at Mumbai’s Kasturba hospital and has quarantined himself in an apartment.

After the death of Rida Shaikh, who studied in IX standard at St Anne’s High School in posh Camp area of Pune, her three schoolmates have been afflicted by the same disease and quarantined at the government-run Naidu hospital.

More alarming is the fact that all schoolmates are from different classes and did not study with Rida.

School children from two more schools - St Helena and Loyola - too were tested H1N1 positive and have been admitted to Naidu.

Shockingly, Pune alone accounts for 118 cases, Mumbai 26 while Panchgani hill station in Satara district 25. Majority of patients who tested positive are school children.

Pune’s district collector Chandrakant Dalvi told Deccan Herald that the administration was opening up 15 new centres in Pune from Thursday for screening swine flu patients, as Naidu hospital alone cannot handle the crowd.

After the government’s show cause notice to Jehangir Hospital, most of the family doctors and physicians here are referring any fever case to Naidu hospital for fear of government action. Even those patients who do not show any symptions of ordinary flu are being referred to Naidu, wasting time and energy of the hospital staff there.

Warning to doctors

Dalvi warned private practioners not to refer all cold and cough cases to Naidu Hospital or face action. He advised them to refer patients only if they show swine flu symptoms and not otherwise.

In July, three schools in the city had been shut down by the authorities after students in those schools had tested positive for H1N1 flu. Those schools were Abhinav English Medium School (where 23 students were affected), Symbiosis Primary and High School (2) and Seva Sadan High School (1), Awate said. The number of victims in Pune suddenly shot up last fortnight when a team of students returned home after a trip to Indiana, US, he said.

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