With a woman succumbing to swine flu in Hisar, this season's death toll rose to eight in Haryana on Thursday, while 47 positive cases of H1N1 virus have been recorded in the state so far.
Bhiwani resident Seema, 38, died of swine flu at a private hospital in Hisar on Thursday evening.
Health minister Anil Vij said the health department was on the alert, adding that the director general, health services, was in constant touch with various district health officials through video conferencing to keep stock of the situation.
Additional chief secretary, health, Ram Niwas told HT that most of the cases had been reported from private hospitals. He said various private hospitals had been directed to keep the government informed about patients with symptoms of the disease.
"Two deaths each have been reported from Faridabad, Hisar and Jind, and one each from Rohtak and Sonepat. It has been seen that patients approached private hospitals at a late stage of the dreaded disease," Ram Niwas said, adding that the health teams had immediately approached family members of the deceased and successfully treated the ones found H1N1-positive.
"Patients having swine flu symptoms must immediately approach a doctor. If found positive, treatment should be started promptly," he said.
Vij and Ram Niwas claimed that the health department had adequate arrangements for the treatment of patients suffering from swine flu and that a sufficient stock of Tamiflu medicine was available, ventilators had been provided and isolation wards set up in all hospitals of the state, besides the people were also being made aware about the symptoms and preventive measures.
Meanwhile, a special video conferencing has been scheduled for Friday between a team of experts from New Delhi and district health officials here.
In 2013, about 23 persons had died of swine flu in the state, while there were about 90 positive cases in Haryana.
Six positive cases in Punjab
According to Dr Deepak Bhatia, incharge of Punjab's Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), six confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza have been witnessed in the state so far this season. These include two swine flu deaths, both reported from Amritsar. Two positive cases were reported from Ludhiana, and one each from Nawanshahr and Rupnagar.
Health and family welfare minister Surjit Kumar Jyani said all government hospitals had been directed to set up a separate screening area for outdoor patients and also set up well-equipped isolation wards to admit those requiring indoor treatment.
So far, three cases of H1N1 have been reported in Chandigarh. A resident doctor of Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) had tested positive for H1N1 last Saturday. His condition was stated to be stable.
Experts said there was no need to panic as the virus strain was not a virulent one and behaved like any other seasonal influenza. According to them, the situation is not as worrisome as it was in 2009, the year which saw a spurt of Influenza A H1N1 cases. In 2009, around 350 positive cases had been reported at screening centres in Chandigarh, including about 150 local residents.
With inputs from Vishav Bharti
People, especially the elderly and those suffering from any disease or having low immunity, should not go for a walk in the wee hours as the swine flu virus is said to be most active at that time
Parents should not send their children to school in case they suffer from symptoms of swine flu or from cough/cold
School principals have been instructed to grant leave to such children so that they can take rest at home