Even as city grapples with dengue, six new swine flu cases reported
Already battling a dengue crisis, there was more worry for Delhi’s health machinery after six cases of swine flu were reported over the last few days, with two outstation patients critical and on ventilator support.
Three middle-aged patients including a woman, all residents of Delhi, who have tested positive for H1N1 influenza, are undergoing treatment at home under the care and supervision of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders department of AIIMS.
“Three persons have tested positive and are undergoing treatment for swine flu at home. They are not admitted to <g data-gr-id="59">hospital</g>,” said a senior doctor at AIIMS. Apart from them, a 59-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh, who tested positive for swine flu, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Safdarjung Hospital on Wednesday.
“He tested positive for swine flu and was referred to Safdarjung hospital from Apollo hospital,” a senior doctor said. Also, two men aged 68 and 32 years, natives of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh were admitted in the ICU of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital where they are undergoing treatment since October 2. “The patients are critical and have been on ventilator support,” said a senior official from the hospital.
Meanwhile, Delhi government has started its preparation to tackle the swine flu cases. The health department has already stocked more than one lakh capsules and syrups of Oseltamivir Tamiflu/<g data-gr-id="41">Fluvir</g>) and, if required, more can be purchased, officials said.
The government will also procure one lakh H1N1 vaccines to immunize all health care workers in Delhi, including those working in the private sector, they said.
Further, instead of observing Hand Washing Day on October 10, the government has decided to hold a sanitation awareness drive from October 15 to November 14.
“We have also started awareness programmes regarding ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for preventing transmission of H1N1 and reducing panic amongst general public by informing them regarding consulting a doctor for treatment and to refrain from self-medication,” a senior health department official said.
According to health experts, the swine flu carrier, the H1N1 influenza virus, surfaces when temperature dips and is transmitted rapidly as it spreads through <g data-gr-id="50">air</g> and not <g data-gr-id="51">vector</g>, as in dengue.
Swine flu had assumed epidemic proportions last season which continued till mid-April this year afflicting over 4,259 people and claiming 12 lives in the city.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Wednesday decided to earmark more beds vis-a-vis 2014 and provide separate <g data-gr-id="42">wards</g>/OPD area for patients suffering from influenza-like illnesses.
“Beds will be earmarked at each hospital for H1N1 patients and designated beds would be more than from previous years. Separate <g data-gr-id="40">wards</g>/OPD area will also be designated for influenza-like illness patients,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said after a meeting with officials of all designated hospitals, both public and private, here.
The Delhi government also discussed issues like keeping ceiling price for influenza testing not beyond Rs 4,500 in any private lab and <g data-gr-id="48">hospital,</g> and designating four more hospitals to treat and manage influenza cases.
Other issues which were deliberated during the meeting included earmarking of ventilators for influenza patients by each designated hospital, providing adequate quantity of N95 masks, PPE kits, hand sanitizers, medicines (<g data-gr-id="45">tamiflu</g>) and deployment of trained staff in influenza <g data-gr-id="46">wards</g> of ICUs.