Two persons died of H1N1 in quick succession in Delhi, the first swine flu fatalities here, taking the nationwide death toll up to 36.
Both those who died had severe symptoms - including high fever and acute breathlessness, which damaged their vital organs - before they came to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital for treatment.
The first death was that of Renu Gupta (38), resident of Model Town in north Delhi, who died at 10.30 pm on Wednesday. The second fatality was Samrat Pandya (31)from Gurgaon.
“They were both brought here in a critical condition,” said Dr Nishith Chaturvedi, medical superintendent, RML Hospital.
The first H1N1 case in Delhi was confirmed on June 8 - the second city to confirm H1N1 in India after Hyderabad -- but the civic authorities were able to contain infection and manage severe cases without a single life being lost for over two months.
Though the deaths struck a blow to Delhi government's spotless record, the state government said the situation remained unchanged.
“Had there been timely detection in both these cases, we could have possibly saved these lives,” said Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia.