Swine flu under control, says Azad

"We have managed to limit such cases to a few individuals, considering the size of our population and country," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.

Seeking to allay fears of the common man about the disease, he said "there are guidelines and constant review of the situation is being done."

He said though one swine flu test costs Rs 10,000, it was being done free in 19 laboratories across the country.

"We managed to identify positive cases (around 7,000) and put them on Tamiflu. This way we managed to limit the number of positive cases, otherwise this figure would have multiplied to seven million. I would like to give credit to our doctors," Azad said.

He said government has kept a stock of one crore Tamiflu doses ready and added that if there was a need for open sale of the medicine, it will be done as and when necessary.

Azad said the government has already trained doctors at the state level and has instructed states to train doctors at the district level also for tackling the virus.

Describing the death of 14-year old Pune girl Rida Shaikh due to swine flu as "unfortunate", Azad said timely medication could have saved her.

"The death of the girl was unfortunate, however there was a mistake from both sides. Timely medication could have saved her," he said.

The girl went to three private practitioners and her diagnosis was not done on time, he said adding no deaths had been reported before this case.

The minister said that out of around 600 identified cases of swine flu in the country, 470 have been discharged after medication. 

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