After 40 people died of swine flu in Karnataka, the health department of the state has devised a new "formula" to avert panic.
From now, the department will not divulge the details of dead patients' name and age, nor the name of the hospitals where patients have died.
"The step has been taken to avert any sort of panic spread among people due to swine flu. We're only following the guidelines issued by the Central health ministry not to reveal the names of H1N1 victims," Principal Secretary (Health) I.R. Perumal told IANS.
"On many an occasion, we've received complaints, where families of swine flu victims and even cured patients have at times been almost ostracised in their neighbourhood. We want to end such malpractices and put an end to spread of panic and rumours in Karnataka due to swine flu," he added.
After several private hospitals have asked the health department not to reveal their names if patients have died in those hospitals due to H1N1 virus, the department has decided to stop issuing the names of the hospitals where swine flu related deaths have occurred.
"If people come to know that a swine flu patient has died in a particular hospital, then they simply avoid going to that hospital for treatment of other diseases also. People are scared and we want to put an end to the scare factor," said Perumal.
With five new swine flu deaths being reported from Karnataka, the death toll due to the H1N1 virus in the state has reached 40, a health official said.
Of the 40 flu related deaths, 33 have been reported from Bangalore.
Eighteen more people tested positive of H1N1 virus on Friday, taking the number of confirmed cases in the state to 554. All the 18 cases are from Bangalore.