The state health department has finally given its consent to five private hospitals in the national Capital to screen H1N1 suspects.
In case of people testing positive for the viral infection, these hospitals will be allowed to admit them and start appropriate medication.
The five hospitals that have been given the requisite permission to start screening of patients are Moolchand Medcity, near Moolchand flyover; Balaji Action hospital, near Paschim Vihar; Indraprastha Apollo hospital, near Sarita Vihar; Sir Ganga Ram hospital, near Rajendra nagar; and St Stephen’s hospital, near Tees Hazari.
“These hospitals have duly fulfilled specific criteria for the screening of H1N1 patients, and that’s why we gave them the permission to start the process,” Delhi health minister Kiran Walia said.
“The idea is to stay prepared for any eventuality. We shouldn’t be caught off guard.”
Sources in the ministry told HT seven other private hospitals are also slated to get the official consent soon.
Dr B.K. Rao, chairperson, Sir Ganga ram hospital, said, “We have already started the process, and even have a couple of patients admitted in our isolation ward.”
“We are not allowed to procure the medicine on our own. Delhi government provides us with a limited stock of Tamiflu,” he said.
The state health ministry has decided to continue with the airport screening of H1N1 suspects for some more time as a precautionary measure.
“We can’t neglect swine flu. So, there’s no point in doing away with airport screening,” Walia said.
“The method may not be fully reliable, but we must not give up on it yet. With the temperature dipping, we have to extra cautious,” she added.
On an average, about 15-20 suspected cases are still spotted through airport screening, but most cases come through self-reporting.