Five more deaths in Pune

Swine flu: Educational institutions closed for a week in Mumbai

Scare In School: Students wear masks as a precaution against the H1N1 virus inside a classroom in Sangli, Maharashtra, on Wednesday. PTI

Meanwhile the disease that was hitherto restricted to Pune, Mumbai and Satara, claimed its first victim in Nasik in North Maharashtra on Wednesday.

Among the Pune victims were a 48-year-old bus driver, a 50-year-old woman, a schoolboy, a young man and a young woman. Gautam Shelar, the bus driver, died of swine flu on Wednesday afternoon at Pune's Sassoon Hospital, which registered the fifth death of the day from the H1N1 virus since past midnight. Shelar was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition three to four days ago and died around 4.45 pm, a Maharashtra Swine Flu Control Room official said. Before him, 51-year-old Nita Meghani, who was admitted to the Sassoon in a critical condition four days back, died in the afternoon.

A school student, Babu Genu Kuland, died in the same hospital at about 11 am. He was a resident of Pune’s adjoining city Pimpri-Chinchwad and was admitted three days back in a serious condition. He is the second victim from Pimpri-Chinchwad, the first being Sanjay Mistry (35), who died earlier.

Barely hours after Mistry's death, Shravani Deshpande(29)  breathed her last around 3 am. She had been admitted to the Sassoon three days ago with pneumonia and later found to be suffering from swine flu. She was then put on ventilator.

In Nashik, Rakesh Gargunde, a medico in the city civil hospital, also succumbed to swine flu around 3 am. He was admitted to hospital in an unconscious state two days ago and was put on a ventilator. The test report confirming that he had swine flu was received by the hospital late Tuesday night.

The decision to close Mumbai schools was taken at an emergency meeting called by the State Education Department, which has also scrapped the second unit tests that were to be held this month for classes 1 to 10.

Pune schools and colleges had already been closed as the city reported the maximum number of swine flu patients among school children and the highest number of fatalities also.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena and the NCP have appealed people to keep dahi-handi programmes during Janmashtami a low key, to check the virus from spreading.

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