Swine flu has made a comeback and reportedly claimed three victims in the Capital this year. Fifty-seven such cases have already been confirmed by the health department.
The H1N1 influenza virus, also known as swine flu, affected thousands of people in 2009-10 in the city.
The hospitals in the city have started reporting cases, allegedly with symptoms of the virus such as running nose, cough, etc.
Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital has about five suspected cases of the disease undergoing treatment in the isolation ward.
Three of the cases — two men and a woman — were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday alone.
Confirming the news, Delhi health minister AK Walia said, “We have issued instructions for the medicines to be made available to all hospitals. I have been told that there have been swine flu deaths as well.”
The city hospitals have been getting cases with swine-flu symptoms for the past two-three days.
“We have admitted the patients in the isolation ward that we opened last week. None of the patients, however, is serious,” said a source at the RML hospital.
A lot of suspected cases of the viral infection are being reported by private hospitals that are being referred to government hospitals, as per the protocol.
The Delhi government had made it mandatory for the private empanelled labs to report all the positive swine flu cases to the health department.
This will enable the government to have full details about the total number of patients affected by the virus as well as for ensuring their full treatment and tracing their contacts.
The Centre had notified state governments to allow retail sale of anti-viral drug — tamilfu — at select pharmacies across the country in 2009.
The drug is used to treat influenza H1N1. A total of 480 outlets across the country were identified to sell the drug; Delhi has 30 of these pharmacies.