As Swine Flu Toll Croses 10,000 Mark, States Told to Operate 24X7 Helplines

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New Delhi:  Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth today urged state governments to ensure round-the-clock functioning of outbreak monitoring cells and necessary helplines as the number of people affected by swine flu in the country crossed the 10,000 mark.

Mr. Seth, while chairing a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee to review the swine flu outbreak in the country, also directed drug controllers of states to ensure availability of necessary vaccines, along with guidelines for vaccination and treatment protocol.

“The Cabinet Secretary stressed that the states should ensure that the outbreak monitoring cells and necessary helplines function round-the-clock. The Drug Controllers should ensure availability of necessary medicines such as tablets, capsules and vaccines, along with guidelines for vaccination and treatment protocol,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

Till yesterday, as many as 663 swine flu deaths had been reported from across the country while the number of people affected by it crossed the 10,000 mark even as the virus spread to new places like Nagaland.

Health Secretary B P Sharma told the meeting that regular review of the situation was being done with affected states through telephone and video-conferencing and his Ministry was assisting the states with required material.

Chief secretaries and medical heads of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi briefed Mr. Seth about the availability of drugs, testing kits, diagnostic labs, personal protective equipment (PPE), and masks in their respective states.

“Maharashtra and Haryana have requested for some medicines to augment their emergency stocks. These are being supplied to them by the Health Ministry,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, one more person died of the disease in Haryana today taking the toll to 18 in the state, while 11 new patients were tested positive of H1N1 virus in Punjab. Swine flu had also claimed eight more lives in Rajasthan since yesterday, raising the state’s toll to 191 this year.

The central government figures till yesterday showed that 10,025 people have suffered from H1N1 virus so far this year, a new high in recent years.

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