Confusion in Goa over status of swine flu patient

June 12th, 2009 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 12 (IANS) Confusion prevailed in Goa over the status of a suspected swine flu patient, with senior bureaucrats switching their versions four times in a matter of two days.
After confirming Goa’s first swine flu patient on Thursday morning, state Health Secretary Sanjay Srivastava Friday said that the state government was still awaiting confirmation from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Delhi. “We will receive the confirmation on Saturday,” he said.

“The central government has evolved a protocol wherein each sample has to be tested twice. We will be in a position to confirm only after we receive the second confirmation,” Srivastava told reporters.

In contrast, director of the state-run Directorate of Health Service Rajnanda Dessai, who had Thursday afternoon rebutted Srivastava’s confirmation in a press conference, surprisingly confirmed that the person admitted to the isolation ward at the Chicalim Cottage Hospital in South Goa had tested positive for the H1N1 infection.

“We received reports today confirming that the patient who had flown in from Brussels via London on June 4 has tested positive for swine flu. He is being administered the required medication. There is not need to panic at all,” Dessai said.

Another patient who was temporarily detained by the state health authorities Thursday was released with strict instruction not to mingle with people and stay within the confines of her home. “We have already sent the samples to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and are expecting the results soon,” Dessai said.

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