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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Govt to allow private labs to conduct swine flu tests: Azad

PTI  New Delhi, August 10, 2009
First Published: 20:10 IST(10/8/2009) | Last Updated: 20:27 IST(10/8/2009)

With a surge in swine flu cases across the country, the Government on Monday decided to allow private labs to conduct tests of suspected cases in accordance with guidelines issued by it and stockpile another two crore tablets of Tamiflu to check spread of the disease.

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It also decided to send around 35 Additional and Joint Secretaries from various ministries, along with Health Ministry officials, to states to brief them about the steps to spruce up the healthcare infrastructure.

Addressing a press conference, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Ministry has finalised guidelines to allow private labs to conduct tests for swine flu.

"We have finalised the guidelines for allowing private labs to conduct tests. We have sent those to state governments. Once the private labs meet the guideline requirements, states can allow them (to carry out tests)," he said.

Briefing reporters on the discussions he held with Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar and top officials of the ministry, he said more thermal scanners would be installed at all international airports.

Azad said the Government will procure an additional two crore capsules of Tamiflu as the current stockpile of one
crore has been sent to various states. "We will stockpile another two crore Tamiflu and procure 22,000 medical kits
(used to detect the swine flu)," Azad said.


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