Scare of swine flu in Magh Mela has forced the health department to take some quick action to check its spread in Mela area where millions of people are expected to arrive in the next few days. Thousands of Kalpvasis would also be camping here for a period of one month.
The scare started after one of the saints showed symptoms similar to H1N1 flu virus in Magh Mela. He was later taken to Delhi for treatment.
“We can’t say that it was swine flu as we don’t have H1N1 testing facility in Allahabad. However, after this suspected case reported in Mela area we started preparations to ensure that the virus does not spread in the Mela area ,” says chief medical officer Dr Alok Verma.
According to the CMO, 650 vials of swine flu vaccine had already arrived, and another batch of 500 vaccines would come in the next 2-3 days. “This vaccine has been kept in both the hospitals in Magh Mela. Tamilflu, which is mainly used for treatment of swine flu had also been kept in sufficient number at the hospitals in Magh Mela, as well as at Tej Bahadur Sapru (Beli) and Moti Lal Nehru (Colvin) divisional hospitals. Tamiflu had also been supplied to Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital,” he added.
Dr Verma said the vaccination of health providers had started in the Mela area. Doctors, paramedical staff were being vaccinated against H1N1 virus. “The staff posted in my office is also being vaccinated. Besides, if any patient reports with swine flu like symptoms like fever, running nose and flu they would be kept in isolation at the Magh Mela hospitals, and later shifted to Colvin and Beli Hospital where isolation wards have been set up,” he further added.
The CMO said their biggest challenge would be to keep a check on the medical condition of a large number of devotees, who would come in the Mela area on the main bathing days. “They may carry the infection,” he pointed out.