As five people have tested positive for swine flu in the state in the previous days, an alarmed state government is taking measures to prevent the virus from spreading, with the health department forming special teams to be deputed at prominent religious places.
The health department move comes in view of one of the swine flu patients coming from an area near the Naina Devi temple.
“Special arrangements have been made at all these religious sites,” health minister Kaul Singh Thakur told HT. Apart from Naina Devi, the locations include the Chintpurni, Jwalaji, Brijeshwari, Chamunda and Baba Balak Nath Deothsidh temples, frequented by thousands of devotees each day. The influx of worshippers only increases during festivals and religious occasions.
The special teams will work round the clock and randomly check worshippers suffering from common cold or with evident swine flu symptoms. They will also spread awareness about the H1N1 virus among the devotees.
Moroever, one more machine would be installed at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and hospital, Shimla to improve detection and speed up inevstigations. The health department has also issued directions to ensure proper functioning of the testing machine at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda.
“Necessary directions were already given to all heath institutions to provide treatment and medical aid to patients suspected to be infected with swine flu,” the health minister who presided over a meeting of health officials to review the arrangement to tackle the virus.
The meeting observed that there was a need to undertake a massive publicity program to apprise people in rural as well as urban areas of the swine flu symptoms. “People should know the difference between the symptoms of common cold and common cold and should not be mistaken,” Thakur added.
In this regard the department will also install hoardings at all major places besides information through electronic and print media.
The department has also asked chief medical officers and block medical officers to convene meetings private doctors in their respective areas and also review the arrangements from time to time. Besides Asha workers and representatives of panchayati raj institutions would also be sensitised about symptoms and preventive measures for swine flu to enable them to aware people.
Meanwhile the health minister also took stock of the situation after a few jaundice cases were reported at Taradevi area in Shimla. He directed the irrigation & public health department to ensure regular water testing and chlorination of all water bodies. He also asked the irrigation department to provided treated water to people, particularly those being supplied with water from the water tank at Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation Workshop at Tara Devi.