Panchgani school kids spend two weeks in quarantine

Panchgani school kids spend two weeks in quarantine

A doctor attached to the school told Deccan Herald that the children “are now fine, but bored”. The school authorities, however, do not want to take any chances and are following government directives.

Satara district collector Vikash Deshmukh visited some of the affected schools in Panchgani hill station.

“We have already combed all the 46 schools, including the 16 residential public schools for suspected cases. In the main affected school, St Peters High School, a special quarantine room has been set up, and similar rooms are ready in other schools,” he said. “The situation is now under control,” he claimed.

The state government has invoked provisions of an Epidemic Control Act in two districts, which empower health officials to admit suspect swine flu patients to the designated hospital, with or without his consent.

Deshmukh said all 17 school children of St Peter’s have been quarantined in the school premises for the past 13 days. This despite the fact that five days treatment with Tamiflu drug is enough to cure patients.

It was a visit to America’s famed NASA by 32 students of St Peter’s from April 9 to 22 that brought H1N1 to Panchgani. In the last week of July, some of the students started showing swine flu symptoms and the school authorities immediately contacted the state health services.

The throat swabs and blood samples of the affected students were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) which were tested positive.

The school authorities immediately created a quarantine room for 16 students, where they were treated. One more case tested positive and is undergoing treatment.

“We have directed all schools in Panchgani to quarantine swine flu patients for a while even after they complete the treatment... We don’t want to take chances,” he said.
Among the 16 residential schools, six students of three  other schools have been infected so far. These are Mahatma Phule School, Anjuman Islam and Happy Hours School.
The affected students fall under the age group 6 to 15 years. All of them have been admitted to Satara’s Krantisinh Nana Patil district hospital.

The district administration is now keeping a record of all the foreigners visiting Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar hill stations, to ensure that any suspect swine flu patient is immediately quarantined.