Four more Mumbaiites tested positive for swine flu on Monday, taking the number of H1N1 cases this month to 79, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
While two of these patients have been admitted to KEM Hospital, Parel, one is admitted to Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli. The fourth patient, a child, has been admitted to a private hospital.
The onset on monsoon has led to surge in cases of swine flu, just like various other diseases. At least 315 Mumbaiites were hospitalised with fever, gastro enteresis and malaria between Sunday and Monday morning.
Throat swabs of at least 166 patients have been tested for H1N1 at the Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing Laboratory at Kasturba this month. About 50 of them tested positive for swine flu, taking the positivity rate to more than 30 per cent. In summer months, the rate was less than 10 per cent, according to Dr Geeta Natraj, microbiology professor at KEM who is in-charge of the laboratory.
Civic officials said the state government is looking at relaxing criteria that private hospitals have to fulfill in order to be eligible to treat swine flu.
“Having more hospitals will help us tackle swine flu better. So the current criteria that private hospitals have to fulfill will be changed slightly,” said Dr G.T. Ambe, executive health officer of the BMC.
Sarvaree Gokhale, additional chief secretary (health), said all private doctors and hospitals are free to treat swine flu patients. “The antiviral drug Tamiflu is available at chemists on prescription so patients can be treated at private hospitals.”
The nasal spray vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Insitute of India, is being studied by the Drug Controller of India and could become available in the market by month-end.