A private Pune hospital where a 14-year-old girl died of swine flu on Monday had failed to inform the state health authorities of her condition despite the public health warnings and directives, an official said Tuesday.
A day after Riya Shaikh succumbed to the H1N1 virus, becoming India's first such death, health authorities began probing the probable lapses on the part of Jehangir Hospital, where she was admitted July 27.
"The concerned private hospital did not inform us till the case turned positive. They may also not have administered the anti-H1N1 drugs properly to the patient, which resulted in her death. It is unfortunate," Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Sharvari Gokhale told IANS.
Meanwhile, a top-level meeting of health officials was convened in Mumbai Tuesday to chalk out the strategy to tackle future H1N1 cases.
Gokhale however maintained that the situation due to swine-flu is completely under control and "there is absolutely no cause for any panic".
She added that presently the anti-flu Tamiflu tablets are available at only government and civil hospitals all over the state.
"Only if the situation goes out of control, we shall allow private hospitals to administer the drug. But with around 100 cases in a couple of cities, the matter is fully under control, barring the accident yesterday," Gokhale assured.
Endorsing her views, State Swine Flu Control Room head Pradeep Awate said that the hospital informed about the girl almost four days after she had been admitted there July 27.
A health official, requesting anonymity said that "very stringent measures" are likely to be announced to deal with the swine flu situation.
With three more cases reported Tuesday, the official figure of H1N1 infections in Maharashtra has gone up to 150, including 104 in Pune. The other places with positive cases are Mumbai, the hill resort of Panchgani in Satara district, Thane and Nashik.
Pune has already notified as pandemic for swine flu.
The girl Riya Shaikh had consulted a general practitioner when she first reported flu-like symptoms - sore throat, runny nose, headache - on July 21. When her condition improved, she joined school on July 23.
"She again developed fever on July 25, for which she consulted another private practitioner. Her fever continued and she was admitted to a private nursing home in Pune July 27," according to a health ministry statement.
Her condition worsened and she was shifted to the ICU and put on the ventilator on July 29. "The patient's lung aspirate was sent to the NIV (National Institute of Virology) on July 31 and was tested positive for swine flu."
She was put on Oseltamivir or Tamiflu on July 30. Her condition deteriorated and she died Monday evening, a health ministry statement said.