No swine flu in India, five suspects under scanner (Lead)

May 5th, 2009 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) India continues to be free from swine flu infection, while five passengers with suspected influenza A (H1N1) symptoms are quarantined, officials said Tuesday.
“As of now, we have five passengers - two in Bangalore, two in Kochi and one in Delhi - under observation and their clinical samples are with the National Institute Communicable Diseases (NICD) and results are awaited,” joint secretary health Vineet Chawdhry told reporters here.

Three people who were quarantined in Delhi - two of whom came from the US and one from Canada - were discharged Tuesday after they tested negative for swine flu, Chawdhry said.

Meanwhile, China Tuesday alarmed India about an Andhra Pradesh based passenger who was on a flight from Mexico with a passenger tested positive for influenza A (H1N1) at Shanghai last month.

“Inter-country cooperation has increased to deal with the flu. The Chinese embassy provided us with a detail about an Indian passenger aboard a Mexican flight carrying a passenger tested positive for flu. We immediately tracked him in Andhra Pradesh and found him fit,” said Chawdhry.

India has intensified measures to tackle swine flu by beefing surveillance at border road posts besides airports and ports.

The 21 airports in the country where screening is being done are: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, New Delhi, Varanasi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Srinagar, Tiruchirapalli and Tiruvananthapuram.

“A total of 36,323 passengers were screened at these airports Tuesday. 172 doctors and 83 paramedics have been deployed to man 68 counters at the above airport. So far samples of 15 passengers have been tested and found negative for flu,” said Chawdhry.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 21 countries have officially reported 1,124 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

Mexico has reported 590 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 25 deaths. The US has reported 286 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.

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