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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Jammu hospitals not prepared to tackle swine flu

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Jammu, August 11, 2009
First Published: 20:16 IST(11/8/2009) | Last Updated: 20:29 IST(11/8/2009)

After the first case of swine flu was confirmed positive in Jammu on Monday, the unpreparedness of hospitals to tackle swine flu is clearly evident from the fact that the swab test kits necessary to collect the sample for further scrutiny at the National Institute of Communicable disease, New Delhi, are not available with the hospitals.

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A girl studying in Pune was tested positive for the virus at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu.

Nearly 13 to 14 people with the symptoms of swine flu on Tuesday visited GMC, but returned without any test or check up as GMC is suffering from non-availability of swab test kits.

Principal of the GMC, Rajinder Singh, admitted that all the people who turned up to the GMC were asked to go back on Tuesday and were asked to come on Wednesday as the swab test kits were not available with the hospital.

"Our nodal office at Srinagar receives the swab test kits which the Centre sends. The swab test kits are sent at the international airport at Srinagar. Although we have sent requests for demand of swab test kit to the nodal office in Srinagar, we have not yet received the kits" he said.

A professor of the University of Jammu who visited United States, China, Thailand and Canada is suffering from strong symptoms of swine flu including influenza and diarrhea was also sent back due to the lack of swab test kits.

Pleading anonymity the professor said, "I was on an official visit to these countries and am suffering from symptoms of swine flu. When I visited GMC on Tuesday I was told to come there on Wednesday at 11 in the morning".

The state health department has directed all the district hospitals to conduct swab tests of people having symptoms of swine flu. In Jammu, GMC, Gandhi Nagar hospital and Sarwal hospital are the one where swab tests are conducted.

Rajinder Singh also said that a panic has been created in Jammu after the first case of swine flu came. "Most of the doctors have been put on duty for screening of swine flu and due to this other patients are suffering" Singh said.

It is pertinent to mention here that union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad belongs to J&K and still the hospitals in the state are not ready to tackle the situation that has emerged after the first swine flu case in Jammu.

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