Call it an effect of the fears triggered by the recent death of a 55-year-old lady suffering from swine flu or just misplaced priorities, the district health authorities are nowadays focusing their attention on fogging the city for malaria and dengue, both of which are by and large ailments that are reported in the summer months and hence, less likely to occur in winters.
While spraying disinfectant pesticides is usually resorted to in the west to kill the H1N1 virus, the district health officials expressed not only their ignorance but also their nonchalance over the issue saying that there was no need to go for it in Amritsar as there was no outbreak.
District Epidemiologist Dr Raju Chauhan said that the swine flu threat in Amritsar was not quite alarming as after the death of 55-year-old Batala Road resident Surjit Kaur, no positive case had been found in the city. He added that a day after her death a suspected case from Malikpur village had reported for treatment at a private hospital, but had tested negative for swine flu.
"As of now the city has no case of swine flu-positive or suspected," he said. Dr Chauhan added that to be on the safe side, the health department had deputed 18 teams to survey the entire city, particularly the Batala Road area. "These teams have been going all over the city. Special emphasis is being laid on the survey of Batala Road area from where the deceased Surjit Kaur hailed," he said.
He added that the survey would be conducted till the health authorities are sure that the H1N1 virus has not taken anyone else in its grip. "The residents are advised to take all possible precautions to keep themselves safe from the threat of contracting swine flu and to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep their surroundings clean," Dr Chauhan added.
Talking about the fumigation of the city, he said that this was being done to minimize the onslaught of dengue and malaria causing mosquitoes in the summer months.
"We thought of going ahead with the fogging of the city, particularly the Batala Road area, for dengue while we are sending out our teams to survey the city and identify the suspected cases of swine flu," he said.