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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Delhi pulls up its mask

Neelam Pandey , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 06, 2009
First Published: 01:18 IST(6/8/2009) | Last Updated: 01:20 IST(6/8/2009)
Rida Shaikh’s death in Pune has spurred the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to review the safety of 10 lakh students in the 1,752 schools it runs in the Capital.

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On Thursday, the civic agency will hold a meeting with its deputy education officer to introduce precautionary measures for students.

“Presently, we have one teacher in each school who is trained in first aid and this person will be made responsible for looking out for children who show symptoms of swine flu. If the teacher detects any such case, the student will be taken to the nearest government hospital to get tested. If he is tested positive, all the students of the same class will also be tested as a precautionary measure,” said P.R. Sawhney, chairman of the education committee of the MCD.

The civic agency has admitted to the fact that these measures are being taken in light of the Pune case.

“We have decided to call this meeting after we heard of the Pune case. More than 10 lakh students study in municipal schools and it is our responsibility to look after their safety,” said leader of the MCD House Subhash Arya.

The civic agency has also stated that if the student is tested positive the entire class will be given a week’s holiday to ensure that the H1N1 virus does not spread further. As of now, the civic agency has not received any report of a swine flu-related case.

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has also issued directives to its drivers to prevent the spread of swine flu. “If the drivers come across any passenger who shows symptoms of swine flu, they should ask him to go to any government
hospital. Though directions have been issued, the educational level of many drivers is quite low and this poses a problem
in spreading awareness,” said a Delhi government official.

Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) in the city have also demanded that the government set up more swine flu testing centres in Delhi.

“Panic has already set in among the capital’s residents and lots of people are likely to throng government testing centres to get themselves tested for the virus as people do not want to take any chances. The Delhi government should at least open 20-30 more centres immediately, considering the population of the capital,” said Rajiv Kakria of the Greater Kailash-I RWA.

“We have asked all residents to keep a watch on all, including workers in the area, to spot signs of the H1N1 virus. Most residents are already aware of the spread of the epidemic and know what to do when there is a problem,” said Rajender Ramphal of the Inderpuri RWA.


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