Swine Flu becomes a political issue in Rajasthan

Swine Flu becomes a political issue in Rajasthan

CM Ashok Gehlot's home town Jodhpur worst affected

As the number deaths due to swine flu touched 84 in Rajasthan, both the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have started blaming each of negligence. The total number of positive cases since the beginning of the year stood at 2,289.

After the Congress came to power in Rajasthan, Swine Flu has become one of the major concerns, especially in Jodhpur, the home town of chief minister Ashok Gehlot. Jodhpur is at the top of the list with 25 deaths being reported in one month. The BJP has targeted the state government over the issue and alleged that within 45 days of the formation of the Ashok Gehlot government, law and order across Rajasthan has derailed. 

Earlier also swine flu rocked the Rajasthan Assembly after the House witnessed blame game between health minister Raghu Sharma and former health minister Kalicharan Saraf who accused each other of being careless in curbing the epidemic. In reply, Sharma blamed the previous government for being negligent in dealing with the scare even after BJP MLA, Kirti Kumari died of swine flu and BJP national president Amit Shah also caught swine flu. 

Inadequate testing centres

However, according to experts, the outbreak in Rajasthan has happened because of inadequate diagnosis centres. The health department currently has 12 laboratories with swine flu testing facilities at hospitals under all seven medical colleges in Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Kota, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jhalawar along with the Desert Medicine Research centre in Jodhpur and four other private laboratories. Moreover, district and primary health centres don't have the means to carry out swine flu tests and that is proving to be critical because swine flu, if not diagnosed in time, can be fatal.

"Most patients who are suffering from severe swine flu are either those who delayed treatment or had pre-existing medical conditions. On an average people should come in within 2-3 days," Dr Raman Sharma, Professor of Medicine at the SMS hospital and the nodal officer for swine flu monitoring in the state told DH.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma has instructed officials to take action against staff absent from duty. In an attempt to control the menace, the medical and health department has also started a door-to-door survey to identify patients with swine flu-like symptoms.

Worst affected

Rajasthan is the worst affected in the country with at least 2,289 (40 per cent) of the total cases reported from the state till February 2. In comparison to 2018, 2,375 cases were detected out of which 221 scummed.