In what appeared to be a respite, health officials in Maharashtra said on Friday there was no fresh case of swine flu in the state and that 128 of the 172 affected had been discharged from hospital. The test reports of 58 suspect cases were expected later on Friday.
"The figure of positive cases remains at 172. However, we are awaiting the test reports of 58 suspected cases which will be received later today," head of State Swine Flu Control Room Pradeep Awate told IANS.
In a positive development, Awate said, of the 172 cases, 128 had left hospital after completing their treatment by Thursday evening.
"Now, only 44 patients, including one who is in intensive care unit (ICU), continue to be under treatment in Pune and Mumbai. Depending on their response to medication, they shall be discharged in due course," he said.
With Maharashtra being the worst affected state and Pune reporting the most number of cases (118), people continued to queue up outside the 15 H1N1 preliminary screening centres opened Thursday, said Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) health department head SR Pardeshi.
"There were huge crowds yesterday, and people have also started queuing up today for precautionary tests," he said.
Over the last few days, particularly after the city reported the country's first swine flu death on August 3, Pune has virtually become a 'masked' city with people sporting face masks at home, in public spaces and at work places.
"In fact, at the Pune railway station, a majority of the people alighting wear face masks of different colours, blue, green, white, or any other that is available in the market," said Awate, who travelled here from Mumbai Friday morning by train.
In another development, the Bund Garden Police Station here has forwarded the complaint received from the parents of Reeda Shaikh, the teenager who succumbed to the disease, to the PMC health department.
"We have asked them to set up a committee as per the government notification of 2005 and submit its report, inform us who are the guilty persons. We hope to get the report early next week and we shall immediately act in the matter," said police inspector SM Nadgouda.
Reeda's distraught parents have alleged negligence on the part of the private Jehangir Hospital and Ruby Hall Clinic where their daughter was treated. Police have also received directives from the state government to initiate proceedings against the hospital and clinic.
The number of patients affected by H1N1 swine flu in India was 616 Thursday. Of these, 487 have been discharged so far.