2 critical cases in Pune

Centre wants states to rope in pvt labs for diagnosing, treating H1N1

2 critical cases in Pune

People wait outside Ram Manohar Lohia hospital to register for swine flu test, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI

As the number of swine flu cases across the country grew over the past two days, the Centre on Friday issued a fresh set of guidelines to states so that the private sector could be involved in in diagnosing and treating H1N1 patients. The states will now have to identify diagnostic laboratories and private hospitals capable of handling the fast-spreading H1N1 virus and its victims.

Cases of people testing positive for the H1N1 virus were also reported from other parts of the country, including Delhi where 13 people were detected with the virus. Pune did not have any respite from the H1N1  with 39 out of the 55 fresh cases being reported from the city. One of the patients is a doctor. He works with Inlaks hospital in Pune’s fashionable Camp area. He was admitted to the ICU at Sassoon General Hospital after testing positive for H1N1.

Another patient, a 35-year-old person, was shifted from a private hospital to Sassoon in critical condition on Thursday night. He has been put on ventilator, Sassoon’s civic medical officer Dr R R Pardesh said from Pune. His condition was described as “critical and complicated” but doctors at the state-run hospital are trying to save him. The patient was initially treated at Noble hospital in the Hadapsar area of Pune, but when his condition deteriorated he was taken to Sassoon.

He had neither travelled abroad nor came in contact with any H1N1 positive patients. So doctors are clueless about the source of his infection. Most of the patients in Pune so far have been school children, some of whom contracted the virus during their trips to the United States.

Meanwhile, the family of 14-year-old Rida Shaikh, India’s first swine flu fatality, will seek a Rs 5-crore compensation from two private hospitals and a doctor, against whom they have filed a criminal complaint alleging medical negligence, the family’s lawyer said on Saturday.

Asif Lampwala, representing victim Rida Shaikh’s family, told reporters that notices have been sent to Jehangir and Ruby Hall hospitals as well as Dr Sanjay Agarwal against whom a complaint had been filed in the consumer court, alleging medical negligence leading to her death. Pune has so far reported the maximum cases of swine flu. The private Symbiosis complex in Pune, home to several educational institutions, announced it will be closed for one week.

Of the 13 cases reported in Delhi, one is a student of a private school, while another is a student of IIT Delhi. Three Delhi doctors tested positive for on Friday and have been quarantined in a designated hospital.

In what may be the first sign of involving the untapped private sector in diagnosing and treating H1N1 patients, the Centre has asked all states to identify diagnostic laboratories and private hospitals capable of handling the fast-spreading H1N1 virus and its victims.

Tamiflu stockpile in six metros, including Bangalore, will also be augmented by next week so that the City has the capacity to attending to 10,000 H1N1 patients and high-risk groups at any point of time.

What prompted the government’s change of position towards the private sector may be a surge in the number of H1N1 victims on Friday. As many as 96 persons, including several children, with five of them below 10 years of age, tested positive. Thirty seven positive cases were reported in Pune and 16 in Mumbai. In a formal communication to the states on Friday, the Union Health Ministry laid out strict criteria for selecting the facilities.

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