Swine flu tally 322, 16 labs to be upgraded for virus testing

July 22nd, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Wednesday said that there are 322 cases of swine flu in India, a sizable number of which were “imported cases” from the US. He said the government is upgrading 16 more laboratories to tackle the virus.
“So far we have 322 cases of influenza A (H1N1) in the country, of which 256 cases are imported cases. Currently we have two labs to test the virus and the government is upgrading 16 more labs to tackle the problem,” Azad told the Lok Sabha during question hour.

The minister said that of the 256 imported cases, 111 were from the US, 15 from Thailand and 13 from Australia. Currently screening of passengers coming to India is being done at 21 centres.

Azad, however, said that swine flu is “100 percent curable in India” and 10 million Tamiflu drugs are available in the country. “We have one quarantine centre in every state,” he added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already granted pandemic status to the flu which has taken at least 700 lives. According to the global health watchdog, there were over 94,512 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza A(H1N1) in 135 countries.

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