Maharashtra government on Tuesday invoked the Epidemic Act in Pune and Satara districts to check the spread of swine flu, a day after 14-year-old Pune school girl died of the deadly influenza virus.
"The Act has been invoked to prevent spread of this air-borne A(H1N1) virus in the two districts (Pune and Panchgani) where 127 cases have been reported," a senior official in Maharashtra Health Directorate, Dr Pradeep Awate told PTI from Pune.
A total of 150 cases of swine flu have been reported in entire Maharashtra so far since April when the epidemic broke out in Mexico and US, he said.
"We are asking all the patients to get admitted in government hospitals and people should not go to private hospitals. Also, the private hospitals should not take any suspected patients as they do not have any right to do tests unless they take permission from the government," he said.
If the private hospitals do not follow this mandatory steps, severe action will be taken against them, Awate said.
Incidentally, Jahangir is the first private hospital that treated a swine flu case outside the three civic hospitals that have become the main referral centres for the last one month in Pune and have not reported any fatality so far.
Reedal Shaikh, a class IX student of St Anne's High School in Pune, died at the Jahangir Hospital, making her India's first swine flu fatality.