The government stepped up its fight against swine flu as Maharashtra’s death toll continued to mount on Tuesday. It rose to seven, with one more death each in Mumbai and Pune.
In Mumbai, a central panel will on Wednesday vet the proposals of 21 private hospitals that have said they can screen and treat patients. Right now, 12 civic hospitals and the state-run J.J. Hospital are the only official screening centres. Of these, only three have isolation wards and can treat patients.
Although at least 10 schools in Mumbai chose to temporarily shut down, the civic government has not yet ordered a blanket closure. Instead, it has polled over 5,000 parents through text messages, and will decide on Wednesday. “The situation is not so out of hand for us to start shutting schools,” said Jairaj Phatak, municipal commissioner.
But the Navi Mumbai civic body ordered its schools to shut, and in Thane city, more than 130 schools decided to close.
Pune resembled a ghost town. It has been the hardest hit, with five deaths.