34 fresh cases of swine flu in Bengal, CPI-M leader Gautam Deb stable

A woman receives a vaccine injection against H1N1 virus free of charge in Mexico City. (IANS)

A woman receives a vaccine injection against H1N1 virus free of charge in Mexico City. (IANS)

As many as 34 fresh swine flu cases were recorded in West Bengal since Wednesday, while the condition of senior CPI-M leader and former minister Gautam Deb remained stable, a health official said on Thursday.

“There have not been any deaths since Wednesday. The total number of cases is now 392,” Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Malay Kumar De told IANS. Swine flu has claimed 23 lives in the state since January.

Deb, admitted to the critical care unit of a private hospital here with the H1N1 virus on Tuesday, was “stable”, said a hospital official.

According to his doctor Subhashis Chakrabarty, the medical reports for Thursday are “satisfactory”.

“He (Deb) is stable. His condition is being monitored continuously,” Chakrabarty said, ruling out any immediate possibilities of discharge from the hospital.

De said a private hospital has been barred from testing suspected samples for a day due to “anomalies”.

“Apart from National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, there are two private hospitals allowed to conduct tests for the HINI virus. We found that apparently one of them was diagnosing patients for swine flu when there wasn’t such a case. Their results were anomalous. The hospital in question has been barred for testing for a day,” De said.

He said the director of health services will “brief” the authorities of the private hospitals on Friday.

“If he is satisfied then the hospital in question will be allowed to carry out the tests. Meanwhile, we have permitted another private hospital to run tests from Thursday,” De said.

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