Ninety-six fresh cases of swine flu were detected across the country on Friday, the highest in a single day, even as the government called for calm and insisted that the situation was far from alarming.
“We have managed to limit such cases to a few individuals, considering the size of our population,” Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Rajya Sabha.
The Information and Broad-casting Ministry also asked news channels not to create an unnecessary scare, considering India has had just one swine flu death so far, compared to 1,154 the world over. It advised channels to avoid showing the faces of infected persons as well.
In Pune, worst affected by the pandemic, where the sole swine flu death occurred on Monday, three persons were declared critical on Friday. Two are on ventilator support, said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajendra Shinge. The third is a six-year-old girl.
However, the condition of the two men in Pune deteriorated because they had existing diseases.
“One of them is a 35-year-old chemist with a heart problem and the other is a doctor with pneumonia,” said D.B. Kadam, head of medicine at Sassoon.
With swine flu cases touching 204 in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan have issued advisories asking people not to travel to the state.
In Delhi, three doctors — one each from Safdarjang Hospital, a CGHS dispensary in Timarpur, and a private hospital — were confirmed to have contracted swine flu too.
Azad said the health ministry had got in touch with leading private hospitals. “So far, we have confined treatment to government hospitals as they have isolation wards and trained doctors to conduct tests. But we are now asking private hospitals to create similar facilities,” he said.