Travellers from H1N1-hit countries found to be healthy | india | Hindustan Times
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Travellers from H1N1-hit countries found to be healthy

India has tracked and screened 17,947 of the 50,000 passengers who travelled from swine flu hit countries over the past week. All were found to be healthy. The World Health Organisation renamed the flu Influenza A (H1N1) on Thursday.

india Updated: May 02, 2009 01:28 IST
Sanchita Sharma

India has tracked and screened 17,947 of the 50,000 passengers who travelled from swine flu hit countries over the past week. All were found to be healthy. The World Health Organisation renamed the flu Influenza A (H1N1) on Thursday.

Ninety-six doctors are screening passengers travelling from affected countries for flu symptoms at international airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Trichy, Ahmedabad, Goa and Srinagar.

India ruled out acquiring thermal scanners for any of its 17 international airports, saying it would distract doctors from physically examining passengers.

Worldwide, 13 countries have confirmed cases of the new strain of the H1N1 virus, with the newest cases being confirmed in the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Denmark.

Almost all infections outside Mexico have been mild and only a handful of patients have required hospital treatment.

Infection appears to be petering in Mexico, with 46 patients reporting flu symptoms as compared to 212 on April 20. Mexico has reported 176 deaths.

India is increasing its stockpile of the anti-flu drug oseltamivir from 3 million to 10 million. “All four manufacturers of the drug in India – Cipla, Hetero Drugs, Ranbaxy and Roche India – have filed bids to the health ministry, promising delivery within a week,” said Vineet Chawdhry, joint secretary, ministry of health.

“We export drugs to 183 countries and are in talks with the World Health Organisation, Mexico, Israel and Latin America. We can supply 1.5 million doses in four weeks,” Amar Lulla, chief executive officer of Cipla, told HT.

“The health ministry has dispatched 2.5 lakh oseltamivir capsules, 18,000 personal protective equipment and over one lakh of triple-layer surgical masks to regional health centres to cut lead time in case of an outbreak,” Chawdhry said.