The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is prepared to tackle a second wave of swine flu.
At a meeting on Tuesday, civic health authorities asked the deans of the three major hospitals — KEM, Nair and Sion — to restart swine flu screening and isolation facilities immediately.
“We have asked all other hospitals to keep the standard operational procedures that we devised last year in a state of readiness so if there is a need, we will be able to revive them within 24 hours,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
Since there were barely any swine flu cases during summer, screening and isolation centres at almost all hospitals had been discontinued.
Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli had been treating the sporadic cases.
The BMC health department had called for an urgent meeting to take stock of swine flu control measures as three people succumbed to the infection between May 21 and June 5.
The BMC has also sent a circular to its hospitals, instructing the heads to ensure that all patients with flu-like symptoms are screened for H1N1.
“We will not be waiting for the test results. If the patient is screened and there is a strong suspicion of swine flu, Tamiflu will be administered immediately,” said Dr G.T Ambe, executive health officer. He added that they would be especially careful in case the patient is a child, pregnant woman or has any underlying medical condition.
The BMC will also distribute leaflets and put up posters to remind Mumbaiites about the symptoms of swine flu, but it has not revived the door-to-door screening campaign and screening centres at dispensaries. “We don’t want to go overboard with the preparations as it might lead to panic,” added Ambe.
The three swine flu patients, who are admitted at Sion and Kasturba Hospitals, are stable.