Even as the swine flu death toll in Punjab was put at 12, besides 34 positive cases, this season so far by the state health department, three patients showing symptoms of the flu died in Amritsar on Monday.
Test reports of Chanda Devi (39), Brahm Dutt Sharma (56) and Satnam Kaur (55) were awaited to find out if the deaths indeed occurred due to H1N1 infection.
Dr NS Neki, in-charge of the swine flu isolation ward at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, said Chanda Devi was admitted on Sunday with symptoms akin to those of swine flu and died at 8 pm the same day. Sharma too passed away soon after arrival at the hospital on Monday. "He was put on ventilator, but did not survive," Dr Neki said.
Dr Deepak Bhatia, state epidemiologist, said the three deaths in Amritsar could not be confirmed as swine flu cases until reports were received. The toll of 12 was from January 1 to February 8.
He added that people are advised to report early (within 48 hours) to the nearest health institution in case any flu-like symptoms arise. People are also advised to wash their hands frequently and cover their mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. The toll-free helpline number of the department is 104.
Swine flu toll: Jan 1 to Feb 8
Suspected patients 82
Tested positive 34
*Cases confirmed by the PGIMER, Chandigarh, as per govt