With fresh reports of a swine flu outbreak in several such states as Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat, the Trinamool Congress government has scrambled to mobilise urgent measures to pre-empt or contain the spread of the deadly ailment in Bengal.
While there have been no fresh cases of anyone falling prey to the H1N1 virus, deemed the carriers of the deadly swine flu, in Bengal since 2010, the government isn’t willing to take any chances and are geared to mobilise all steps to nip the threat of the disease marking a return to the state. In 2010, swine flu claimed four lives across the state, while another 134 tested positive for H1N1.
The state health department held a meeting with senior health officials of the KMC and chief medical officers of health in the districts at Swasthya Bhaban and asked them to keep an eye out for anyone showing swine flu-like symptoms-fever, severe cough and respiratory trouble.
“Alarmed over the reported outbreak of swine flu in certain states, we have all sensitised all top health officials in the KMC and district administration on the situation and asked them to send us reports as soon as they get word of any H1N1 suspect. We have also alerted the airport authorities and asked them to arrange for check-ups of any passenger showing symptoms of swine flu,” Asit Biswas, head of the state’s swine flu technical committee, told HT on Saturday.
“We will also hold meetings with experts of the National Institute of Communicable Disease (in Beliaghata). There have been no fresh cases since 2010,” Biswas said.
“There’s no need to panic. We have only held discussions about putting swab sample test facilities in place at the NCID laboratory at Beliaghata and make additional treatment arrangements at the state-run Beliaghata ID hospital,” a CMOH said.
The authorities of ID hospital have been asked to be ready to dispense requisite medical treatment to swine flu suspects. During the last swine flu outbreak back in 2010, the hospital had been made the nodal centre of treatment of H1N1 cases, health department sources told HT.
The health department is also likely to ask several reputed private hospitals and medical colleges in the city and districts to make a provision for isolations wards in anticipation of potential swine flu cases.