Four fresh cases of swine flu have been reported from the Malwa region. While two confirmed cases were reported from Patiala, one each is from Bathinda and Barnala.
The Barnala and Bathinda patients have been shifted to Ludhiana for treatment, where four other swine flu patients are undergoing treatment. Of these, two belong to Ludhiana district, and one each to Jalandhar and Moga. In Punjab, two persons from Amritsar and another from Nakodar have died of swine flu. Principal secretary, health, Vini Mahajan confirmed that there had been three swine flu deaths and 17 positive cases in the state this season so far.
Other than the two confirmed cases, another patient in Patiala is showing signs of swine flu. The condition of the three women patients from Patiala is critical and they are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.
Patiala’s chief medical officer Dr HS Bali said the patients found positive had been identified as Sonam Kapoor, 50, a resident of Maharashtra, and Harcharan Kaur, 46, of Kheri Mania village in Patiala district.
Bali said Sonam had come to Patiala to attend a marriage and tested positive for the virus on January 30. “Her condition is critical and she is on ventilator at a local private hospital.”
Harcharan Kaur is under treatment at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh and has been put on ventilator too. “Harcharan’s family approached the doctors at the PGI, who informed us about the case,” Dr Bali said.
Vimal Kaur, a resident of Sangrur, has also been sent to the PGI for further investigation. The unpreparedness of Rajindra Hospital came to the fore as they referred Vimal to the PGI without waiting for the test report. As many as seven swine flu deaths were reported in Patiala in 2013.
“Civil hospitals at Rajpura, Nabha and Samana have been directed to constitute 5-8-bed isolation wards, besides arranging all required medicines. Rajindra Hospital authorities have been instructed to make arrangements for ventilators and a 10-12-bed isolation ward,” Dr Bali said.
In Bathinda, a villager who had travelled to Rajasthan a few days ago has tested positive for the flu. A large number of swine flu cases have been registered in Rajasthan in the past one month. Pargat Singh of Mehraj village was admitted with symptoms of swine flu at Adesh Medical College and Hospital, Bathinda, but was later shifted to Ludhiana.
According to the authorities, a Rapid Response Team to tackle the swine flu is active in Bathinda district. The team also visited Mehraj village to make villagers aware of the flu symptoms.
Panic over two deaths
Amritsar: Panic gripped Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, following the death of two patients, who had symptoms like those of swine flu. The two patients -- one from Gurdaspur and another from Tarn Taran -- were in the isolation ward and were thought to have died of swine flu on Monday night. However, the medical test reports of the two, which were received on Tuesday evening, confirmed that they did not have swine flu.
When contacted, principal secretary, health, Vini Mahajan said these two deaths were not due to swine flu.
Two deaths due to the flu have already been reported from Amritsar. The city at present has one suspected swine flu patient who has been admitted to a hospital. This is the ninth such case in the past few days.
The development has spurred health officials into action, with the director, research and medical education, convening an emergency meeting with the doctors in the city on Tuesday.