The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Mr Jagat Prakash Nadda at a high level meeting to discuss swine flu and other health issues, in Ahmadabad, Gujarat on February 10, 2015. The Health Minister, Gujarat, Shri Nitinbhai Pateland and senior officers of Gujarat are also seen.(PIB Photo)

Swine Flu: Health Ministry Reviews Steps Taken So Far

The Union Health Ministry reviewed the status of H1N1 influenza being reported from different states today at a high level meeting chaired by the health secretary B P Sharma attended among others Director General, Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Jagdish Prasad, representatives of leading government hospitals such as Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdurjung, AIIMS, and from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Representational Picture.

Representational Picture.

In view of the reported deaths from 1 Jan 2015 to 10 February 2015 totaling 407 and reported cases of 5157, mostly from Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana , the meeting discussed the current trends of morbidity and mortality, the diagnostic and test algorithms being followed, availability of diagnostic kits and drugs, and other preventive measures.

Based on the advice given by experts it was decided that various health institutions treating H1N1 cases be advised for vaccination against H1N1 influenza for the concerned health workers in the hospitals in contact with H1N1 patients, said a statement. This will be in addition to the proper personal protective measures being followed at the hospitals. Guidelines are being drafted for vaccination of healthcare workers and these will be shared with the states for dissemination to all health institutions.

The government said it has placed an order for enhancing stock of diagnostic kits to be supplied to the lab network under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) being used for testing H1N1 influenza. Additional stock of 60,000 Oseltamivir medicines and 10,000 N-95 masks are being procured, it said.

In addition, NCDC has floated a tender for additional 10,000 diagnostic kits. In case of need, labs under ICMR have been identified across the country to provide additional testing facilities. In order to prevent panic and inconvenience to people, and to encourage only those cases requiring H1N1 testing are actually taken up for testing, it was decided that the communication strategy should create awareness among the general public regarding this aspect, said the statement.

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