Swine flu claimed three lives in three different cities within 14 hours, proving yet again that people needing treatment are reaching help too late.
Pravin Patel (43), an Atlanta-based NRI visiting family in Ahmedabad, died on Sunday morning after testing positive on Friday.
“The NRI had a blood haemoglobin level of 7, half the recommended level 14 for men,” said a Union health ministry official.
“It is unfortunate that the case was not detected on time leading to the death… We have called a meeting with private hospitals and will work in coordination to detect and cure,” Gujarat health minister Jay Narayan Vyas told Hindustan Times.
Prime Minister Manhohan Singh reviewed the situation on Sunday and directed the health ministry to contain the flu.
He also asked the Union health ministry to set up a panel of doctors to provide correct information about the virus to the states, hospitals and media.
“Affected cities such as Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad have been given 1 lakh doses of the anti-flu drug oseltavivir (Tamiflu), with another 10,000 doses available to any district that needs them,” Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told HT.
The Union health ministry is importing 10,000 more regeants used for testing for influenza A (H1N1) from the US-based Aurora Biomed Inc.
Each screening costs Rs 5,000, and confirmation test costs another Rs 5,000.
NCDC, the nodal monitoring body for swine flu along with Pune’s National Institute of Virology has sent a team headed by additional director Dr AC Dhaliwal to map the Pune outbreak and trace contacts who may have been missed.