Situation under control: Govt

Pandemic: NGOs to help create awareness


A woman with her child dressed like Krishna attending a function on the eve of Krishna Janmashtami celebrations at Kamakshipalya in Bangalore on  Wednesday.  The Child is wearing mask.DH PHOTOAddressing reporters in Bangalore after chairing a high-level inter-departmental meeting to review the swine flu scene in the State, Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao said the situation was not worrisome. “The government has taken all measures to ensure treatment facilities are in place,” he stated.

Out of the 522 tests conducted for suspected swine flu, 97 individuals have tested positive. Of them, 60 have been treated and discharged and 37 are under treatment in various hospitals. As many as 30 patients are being treated in Bangalore, four in Udupi and three in Manipal.

There was no need for panic as the situation was well under control, the Chief Secretary added. The government had stocked sufficient Tamiflu tablets and testing kits.

Rao said the government would also tackle dengue and chikungunya on a war-footing. All deputy commissioners have been directed to conduct review meetings on a weekly basis.

The public should not be misled by cranky SMSes, he cautioned. The chief secretary said he too had received an SMS suggesting that applying eucalyptus oil would help check the spread of the virus. There was no scientific basis for such claims.

Death not due to swine flu

Meanwhile, Health Commissioner P N Srinivasachari said that it was now confirmed that the 29-year-old pregnant, who died in Davangere, was not a victim of the H1N1 virus.
Secretaries of health, education, revenue, urban development and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner, besides medical experts, attended meeting.

No holidays

Meanwhile speaking to reporters, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Visvesvara Hegde Kageri said the H1N1 situation was not as dire as made out to be and there was no need to panic and declare holidays for all schools.

Kageri added that all schools  had the discretionary powers to declare holidays in the event of an outbreak and his department had already issued directions.

He played down the threat posed by the pandemic and said that his department was co-ordinating with the Health department in tackling the problem and had already issued circulars to all schools.

“We have been getting regular reports and updates from the health department and so far we have not had any swine flu case in government schools,” he said. He added that the department had sent a circular to all schools on symptoms and course of action if any cases were detected.

Kageri also said that parents and schools should take a realistic view of the situation.
Home Minister V S Acharya said the five beds in each of the district hospitals and the 176 taluk hospitals have been earmarked for treatment of swine flu patients.

Acharya suspects foul play

Could there be a role of business lobbies connected with masks and medical test kits in creating a scare among people on swine flu?

This thought came from Home Minister V S Acharya, who felt that these lobbies could be misleading the people by creating a scare to spurt sales of the products.

Dr Acharya, a registered doctor, who has been practicing medicine for the last four decades, felt that wearing a mask will not help in preventing infection. Similarly, Tamiflu tablets had severe side effects.

He also wondered whether western tourism lobby is behind painting a scary situation in the country to prevent tourists from selecting India as their destination.

He said the H1N1 virus had only been christened recently and could have been in the community for years. Many could have been infected by the virus and even developed anti-bodies in their system. Those who have already been infected will test positive for the virus because of the presence of the anti-bodies in their system, he said.

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