Nine new cases, including two local infections, were confirmed on Thursday even as Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said swine flu was under control.
Delhi reported five cases, including two local infections, Bangalore three and Hyderabad one, taking India’s tally to 44 — as many as 27 have been reported in the past five days.
“Swine flu is totally under control and presence of the H1N1 virus is negligible in the country. Its spread has also been effectively checked as we took extraordinary precautions,” said Azad in Bhubaneshwar.
But experts think otherwise.
“The nature of the outbreak is such that infections will keep increasing. Luckily, the infection is not virulent (deadly) and has a low death rate,” said a doctor, not willing to be named as he wasn’t authorised to speak to the media.
“I think the government will soon have to consider home quarantines, as is being done in the US where cases are too many for hospitals to handle.”
What’s making containment even more difficult is that fact that over half of those infected are children. “It’s impossible to expect children to stay in isolation,” said a nurse at RML hospital, where three of the seven people in the isolation ward are children.