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MLAs queue up to test for swine flu as virus spreads in Jaipur

Rajasthan has reported 976 cases of H1N1 influenza in 2018 until February 19.

jaipur Updated: Feb 21, 2018 20:43 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,MLAs,wine flu
MLA Rani Silautia leaves the assembly wearing mask after giving sample for swine flu test on Wednesday. (Prabhakar Sharma/HT PHOTO)

A day after BJP MLA Amrita Meghwal tested positive for swine flu, at least 23 MLAs gave their blood samples at the assembly clinic on Wednesday afternoon to be tested for the virus.

The chief medical and health officer (CMHO Jaipur one) Dr Narottam Sharma said that masks have been provided in the state assembly for the MLAs and the staff. The health department has also made arrangements for screening legislators at their residence. “The samples will be sent to a laboratory for confirmation of swine flu,” Sharma said.

Rajasthan has reported 976 cases of H1N1 influenza in 2018 until February 19, the maximum in the country, according to the official data available on state health department website. Out of these, 648 cases are in Jaipur alone making it the swine flu capital of the country.

After Meghwal tested positive, health minister Kalicharan Saraf asked the director (public health) to instruct all district chief medical and health officers to screen people, who had come in contact with those with swine flu.

According to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) data released on February 11, a total of 1,022 H1N1 cases have been reported in India in 2018. A look at the data for Jaipur reveals that 60 new cases were reported within an eight-day period between February 11 and 19.

Saraf said the health department teams have been carrying out screening in all districts. “The disease is curable if detected at an early stage. Anyone exhibiting symptoms should get screened and admitted to a hospital if the test result is positive. It’s spread by a virus and so it is difficult to say why the maximum number of cases has been reported in Rajasthan,” he said on Wednesday.

Meghwal, who had been suffering from a cold and cough for a few days, also took the test on Sunday. She was tested positive for H1N1 virus on Monday. However, she came to know about it only after receiving a call from SMS hospital while she was in the assembly and had interacted with some MLAs.

In August 2017, BJP MLA from Mandalgarh in Bhilwara district Kriti Kumari had died of swine flu. BJP MLA Narpat Singh Rajvi had also tested positive earlier this month and had got treatment.

Congress MLA Shakuntala Rawat on Wednesday said that with the increase in the number of cases, the government should ensure free swine flu vaccination in the state, with a focus on rural areas.

In 2017, 3,619 people had tested positive for swine flu in Rajasthan out of which 279 had died. In 2018 until February 19, 88 people have died due to the deadly disease according to data available on Rajasthan health department website.

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 20:42 IST