The number of swine flu cases in Maharashtra on Tuesday touched 101, with the maximum cases (66) reported from Pune, a senior health official said.
In the hillstation of Panchgani, the health authorities have launched a "combing operation" in all the 16 top residential public schools to detect swine flu cases after 16 students tested positive on Monday.
Pune, already declared a pandemic city, on Tuesday recorded six more cases, taking its total to 66, of which 48 are children, state Swine Flu Control Room head Pradeep Awatre told IANS.
Satara district health chief Vijaysinh Mohite said that after Monday's 16 positive cases in Panchgani's St. Peter's High School, a health team has begun combing operations to detect more such cases.
"Our health team is going around all the 16 residential public schools which house over 5,000 students, and we are checking them all for swine flu symptoms," Mohite told IANS.
However, since the 16 students of St Peter's High School are showing signs of recovery, it has not been shut down. However, it has been made a quarantine zone - local students are not allowed to enter and those inside are not permitted to go out - till there is no further spread and the situation is fully under control, he added.
Meanwhile, state Health Minister Rajendra Shingne on Tuesday visited Pune, visited the affected schools, and met city and district health officials to monitor the progress of swine flu control measures in the state's information technology capital.
Shingne told mediapersons later that there was no cause for panic and the situation was fully under control.
Besides 66 in Pune, there are 19 cases in Mumbai and 16 in Panchgani, Awate said, giving the latest official figures. Apart from Maharashtra, Delhi is only state with more than 100 victims, he added.
Last Saturday, three of the worst-affected schools in Pune - Abhinav English Medium School, Symbiosis Primary and High School, and Seva Sadan High School - were shut down for a week after many students tested positive for swine flu.
According to Awate, an issue of concern for the authorities is that all the victims display very minor symptoms which are very difficult to diagnose and treat.
However, they all have been quarantined in the Naidu Hospital in Pune, he added. The Mumbai victims are kept in quarantine at the Kasturba Hospital.
Unlike Pune, all the victims in Mumbai are adults who have recently travelled to and from major swine flu affected countries in Europe, South America and the US.
"So far, despite the high number, not a single case can be termed as serious. But we are taking maximum precautions since the virus is unknown and we want to prevent it from spreading, especially among the juvenile victims," Awate said.