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Minister steps in to get patients

delhi Updated: Jun 12, 2009 00:19 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times
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Delhi health minister Kiran Walia has declared war against the two Rajokri residents who refused to get admitted at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital last night.

Delhi Principal Health Secretary J.P. Singh had reportedly escorted them to the hospital on Wednesday night but the two left as soon as Singh left the hospital.

"The law is same for everyone. They cannot refuse to get admitted," said Walia.

"We have sent an ambulance with a policeman to their home. If there is any resistance, they will be admitted forcefully."

With two new cases confirmed on Thursday, the number of people with swine flu in Delhi has gone up to five. In all, 15 people have tested positive for swine flu in the country.

The two hospital absconders are a 35-year-old man who arrived in Delhi on the New York-Delhi AI 102 on June 2. He developed fever after arriving and infected his mother (60). She tested positive on Monday.

Both insisted on being quarantined in their farmhouse in Rajokri. The farmhouse staff tested negative but were given the anti-viral drug Oseltamivir to protect them.

On the health minister's insistence, the two patients were brought to RML on Wednesday night but they refused to stay.

"Even after a lot of persuasion by the doctors, they refused to get admitted and left within an hour of their arrival," confirmed a doctor, who did not want to be quoted since he is not authorised to speak.

"They were rude to the doctors. I will not tolerate such nonsense," said Walia.

In the latest update on Thursday, a 41-year-old woman was admitted to RML Hospital and a 25-year-old woman tested positive at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital tested positive.

The younger woman is a resident of Greater Kailash-II and works in New York. There is already a confirmed case of swine flu — a 17-year-old boy from Boston-undergoing treatment at RML.

After cases of swine flu started getting reported from the country, the central government made RML Hospital the nodal centre for all such cases in Delhi.

An isolation ward has been created on the hospital's third floor and about 20 staff members, including three specialists on rotation, are on job to handle such cases round the clock.

"Two trolleys are kept aside only to shift swine flu suspects and also one lift for their movement," said Dr N.K. Chaturvedi, Medical Superintendent (MS) at RML.

Hospitals like LNJP have also created an isolation ward as a precautionary measure.

The Delhi health ministry has created three surveillance teams, comprising two specialists from National Institute of Communicable Diseases, to train doctors to handle swine flu cases.