'H1N1 will die on its own shortly'


He revealed that the Department has started “vigorous medical check up” at all schools in the State - more than 46,000 - with special focus on H1N1 influenza since the beginning of this month. He categorically stated that schools will not be closed as the situation is not alarming.

As the two labs recognised by the government  - NIMHANS and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal - are burdened with increasing number of test samples, the Health department is looking at private hospitals to set up labs. "We want to set up four more labs, so any enterprise can approach us," he said.  

The department will get three kits, with each of which 100 samples can be taken by Friday evening and five more kits will arrive in another three to four days. Currently, the two labs authorised by the government can conduct 160 tests per day. Apart from this, orders have been placed for Viral Transport Media (VTM) in which the swabs are kept and they are available in the market, Perumal said.

Fee for screening

The government has not put in place any regulation with regard to the fee charged by private hospitals for screening. "Why should everything be free? I think people can afford to shell out Rs 1,000 or whatever the cost. However, I have suggested the government to consider whether the costs incurred by private hospitals could be reimbursed.

Perumal said that N-95 masks are not for general public and only for doctors, nurses and technicians, who change them every three hours.

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