Bangalore prepared to fight swine flu

May 3rd, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, May 3 (IANS) With an average of around 1,200 international passengers landing at Bangalore airport every day, Karnataka says it is taking all possible measures against swine flu that has hit many countries and has killed people in Mexico and the US.
The central government is supplementing the state’s effort by supplying 10,000 Tamiflu tablets, 5,000 triple layer medical masks and 500 special masks for use by doctors, according to an official spokesperson.

“We have taken all preventive measures to stop the spread of swine flu virus,” Karnataka Health Secretary M. Madan Gopal told IANS.

“Along with government-run hospitals, a few private hospitals too have come forward to help in case of a flu attack,” Gopal said.

State Transport Minister R. Ashok, who is also in charge of Bangalore city, Saturday met officials of the health department, medical education and Bruhut Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (Greater Bangalore City Corporation) to assess the effectiveness of the steps taken so far.

The immigration authorities at Bangalore International Airport (BIA) will be asked for a list of international passengers who landed in the city from April 20 and see whether they are still around and screen them, if need be, Ashok said.

Screening of passengers for swine flu symptoms by a team of 25 doctors began at the airport on April 28.

Ten government and three private hospitals will be setting up special wards to treat people with the flu symptoms. The pathological laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) has facilities to test blood samples for vector-borne disease, Ashok said.

Ten counters have been set up at the airport to screen the passengers. Till Saturday around 5,000 had been screened and no case of suspected flu has been found, a doctor at the airport said. However, the BIA is yet to set up a quarantine ward.

“We’re screening the passengers, whether they have any symptoms like fever, lethargy, sneezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing and decreased appetite, associated with swine flu,” said C. Albazhagan, the BIA health officer.

“Till now, no passenger landing at BIA has shown any such symptoms. If we come across any such symptoms, passengers will be prescribed to go through laboratory investigations, which includes test of blood samples,” he added.

The state government has identified the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) in Bangalore as the isolation centre for suspected swine flu patients.

The institute has set apart seven rooms for such patients. Three pulmonologists (chest physicians), three thoracic surgeons, two qualified anaesthetists, 20 doctors and PG students will handle the cases.

State Drug Controller B.R. Jagashetty said Karnataka had adequate stock of medicines to tackle swine flu.

“We’ve the required stock of antibiotics like Tamiflu and Relenza, drugs administered for treating swine flu,” he said.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health |