Govt forms panel to look into H1N1 deaths

Govt forms panel to look into H1N1 deaths

Govt forms panel to look into H1N1 deaths

The State government will conduct an enquiry into H1N1 deaths, Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader told the Legislative Council on Monday.

He made the announcement while replying to questions raised by MLCs Vimala Gowda, Raghunath Rao Malkapure (both BJP) and B Ramakrishna of the JD(S) during the question hour.

“Whoever dies of any disease, to my misfortune, the death is attributed to H1N1. So, we have formed a committee under Dr H Paramesh, a pulmonologist from Bengaluru, which will find out the cause of death of a patient in any hospital across the State,” Khader said.
More than 1,500 cases

More than 1,500 cases of H1N1 have been reported in Karnataka so far while 65 people have died of it, said the minister, who came under criticism by members for the government’s “inadequate measures” to prevent the spread of the disease.

Expressing concern over the alarming increase in the spread of H1N1, MLCs mentioned that private hospitals were fleecing patients as there are not many laboratories to conduct the H1N1 test. “If any person tests positive for H1N1, they have to spend Rs 10-12 lakh on treatment,” Malkapure claimed. Gowda supported the remark.

Lowest cost

But Khader tried to mollify the members by declaring that the government would open five laboratories in north Karnataka this year.

He also said private hospitals testing H1N1 samples had been instructed not to charge more than Rs 2,500 for a test. “This is the lowest cost of H1N1 test anywhere in the country,” the minister said.


Swine flu what?

D H Shankaramurthy, the chairman of the Legislative Council, had an embarrassing moment during the question hour on Monday when the House was discussing the spread of H1N1.

When B Ramakrishna of the JD(S) began speaking on ‘Handi Jvara’ (swine flu in Kannada), the chairman suddenly broke in, saying he would not allow anybody to speak about anything other than H1N1.

When a bemused Ramakrishna replied that he was speaking about the same issue, Shankaramurthy asked him to go ahead. 

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