No swine flu in India, asserts health ministry (Lead)

May 3rd, 2009 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) No case of swine flu has been reported in India and clinical samples of suspected flu cases tested so far have proved negative, a health ministry official said Sunday.
“As of now, no case has been reported in India. The clinical samples tested so far have been negative for Influenza A (H1N1) and the situation is being monitored,” said a health ministry official.

The official said a passenger screened at Hyderabad airport has been referred to the identified hospital.

The saliva and blood samples of a 28-year-old man found with symptoms of swine flu after he arrived here from the US have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) at New Delhi.

Six samples of suspected flu cases in Delhi were found negative Saturday.

“Samples of all passengers brought to Ram Manohar Lohia have tested negative and all of them (passengers) were discharged. We have no suspect of H1N1 case now at the hospital,” N.K. Chaturvedi, medical superintendent of the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital here, told IANS.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Sunday reported 787 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection with 17 countries having officially reported presence of the disease.

Mexico has reported 506 confirmed human cases of infection, including 19 deaths. The United States government has reported 160 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.

Health screening of passengers coming from affected countries is continuing in 21 international airports and a total of 41,012 passengers have been screened. As many as 140 doctors and 101 paramedics have been deployed to man 59 counters at the above airports.

According to Chaturvedi, the RML Hospital is fully equipped to handle the flu and has a dedicated team of doctors to treat infected people.

“We have a full-fledged isolation ward with 30 beds. There are 20 doctors and 12 nurses on duty. We also have 1,000 Tamiflu tablets. If there is a shortage of Tamiflu tablets, the NICD will provide them. RML also has 100 medical kits which consist of protective gowns, gloves, eye-gear, syringes and scissors,” he said.

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