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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

I-Day brings freedom from swine flu panic

Pratiksha Puri & Satyajit Joshi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 16, 2009
First Published: 00:57 IST(16/8/2009) | Last Updated: 02:23 IST(16/8/2009)

Saturday was peaceful for Mumbai and Pune on the swine flu front.

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Around 2,250 patients were screened at centres across the city until 4 pm on Saturday, as compared to the 2,830 a day earlier and over 3,000 on Thursday. Six more people tested positive for the H1N1 virus in Mumbai, taking the total tally of positive cases to 205.

As per a new central government guideline, all swine flu suspects were put on Tamiflu. Throat swabs of 23 patients were taken and seven were admitted to quarantine wards at Kasturba, Siddharth and MT Agarwal hospitals.

In Mumbai, those who went to testing centres were spared from waiting in long queues. “The entire process took barely 10 minutes,” said Kurla resident Shaikh Khalid, (38) who had come to Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar, for a screening test. “I had heard that people wait for hours to get tested.”

Officials said the panic was slowly dying down. “Initially, we had to counsel many who came to us with no symptoms and no information about swine flu,” said Dr Supriya Kaul who was screening patients at Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar. “For the past two days, fewer people have turned up for screening,” said Kaul.

The rush of panic-stricken patients coming for tests was also absent with most of those turning up having various flu symptoms. “I got my wife for screening. She is running a high temperature and has a cough since a week,” said Byculla resident Sayeed Quazi (42) at Kasturba Hospital.

“Since Friday, there’s no crowd after 6 pm,” said a staff member at Kasturba Hospital.

In Pune city, 7,900 people were screened on Saturday as compared to 15,000 on Friday. The number of people screened in rest of Pune district was 19,100.

Two new patients have tested positive for H1N1. Three patients in Pune are critical.  Until Saturday, about 67,000 people were screened in Pune.


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