With 10 more swine flu cases reported in Bangalore in the last 24 hours, the Karnataka government has roped in the services of 11 private hospitals to tackle the spread of the influenza A (H1N1) virus.
The decision to utilise the services of private hospitals was taken at a meeting of health department and private hospital officials late on Friday.
The medical institutions roped in to tackle swine flu are Mallya Hospital, Manipal Hospital, St Martha's Hospital, Mallige Medical Centre, St John's Medical College and Hospital, Ambedkar Hospital, Vydehi Hospital, City Hospital Rajajinagar, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Pristine Hospital, and Mahabodhi Mallige hospital.
"For emergency purposes, each hospital will be given 100 tablets of Tamiflu. All the selected hospitals have agreed to make 10 beds available exclusively to treat patients with H1N1 flu," T.S. Cheluvaraj, joint director (communicable diseases), said in a statement.
Currently, patients with H1N1 flu symptoms are being treated at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, Victoria Hospital and Lakeside Medical Center and Hospital.
Moreover, to get quick and easier testing reports on swine flu cases, the government has decided not to send samples (throat and nasal swabs) to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. Instead, Bangalore based NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences) and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal will be entrusted with the job.
"Both the medical institutes have adequate infrastructure for testing and will be utilized henceforth. As NIV is flooded with samples from across the country, so no samples from the state will be sent to the institute," said the joint director.
Of the 68 confirmed cases in Karnataka so far, five have been reported from coastal city Mangalore and the rest from Bangalore.