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H1N1 menace: no need for panic

The editorial “The menace of H1N1” (Aug 12) presented a balanced picture, rightly stressing that compared to ordinary flu, the fatality rate of swine flu is far less and therefore India must react prudently and not in panic. But the media has quite strangely created much hue and cry about a disease whose mortality rate even in the confirmed cases is rather low. More importantly, death occurs only in those persons who are already weak due to other underlying factors.

According to WHO, one million people die from malaria each year, two million from AIDS and another two million from air pollution. Nearly 7.4 million people succumb to cancer and 17.5 million to cardiovascular diseases. Tuberculosis and water borne diseases, too, kill many. So, millions die each year from causes that are easily preventable.

The moot question is: why is the media silent over these issues? The media should play a constructive role in sensitising people and making them aware of medical facts rather than creating hysteria. The Tribune editorial is a step forward in educating public to be careful and not hysterical.

 Dr VITULL K GUPTA, Bathinda

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief


The H1N1 death toll is rising and has created fear among people. The panic has led to chaos and overburdened the existing health facilities. To some extent, the media is responsible for creating this panic. There is need to educate people about swine flu. Both, the media and the government can play a key role in public awareness drives and reduce the burden on health ministry.

NEHA PAUL, Patiala


The number of swine flu infections is rising rather rapidly. To tackle this deadly disease, the health department must intensify the efforts for early diagnosis, quarantine and public awareness. The public, too, must realise its responsibility and cooperate fully with the authorities concerned.



Swine flu is spreading fast and has begun to take a toll on human lives. Though there is no need for panic, we must take precautionary steps. People should avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel and wear masks in public places.

Dr S SHANMUGAM, Tirunelveli

Pampered cricketers

The editorial “BCCI on the wrong foot” (Aug 4) has rightly commented that the BCCI’s refusal to comply with the “Whereabouts Clause” of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an irresponsible act. The argument that “what is good for others, including cricketers from other countries, is not good enough for our cricketers” is absurd.

When the athletes and cricketers around the world have agreed to the WADA norms, one fails to understand why the cricketers should have any problems about disclosing their whereabouts. If the cricketers remain adamant and don’t agree then it could lead to speculation and unnecessary controversy. India’s Sports Minister, Dr MS Gill, has rightly advised that it is in India’s best interest that the cricketers adhere to WADA rules.

SUMAN KUKAL, Chandigarh

Provide food security

It is indeed shocking to know that in India 40 per cent children are born underweight (news report, “Growth can’t happen with empty belly: Sen”, Aug 9).

Even after 62 years of Independence, India lacks adequate infrastructure, employment opportunities, food security, etc. The inequitable distribution of resources is indeed a blot on society. The government must ensure food security and make foodgrains available to the common people at an affordable price.

Food security is closely connected with economic growth and social progress. The public distribution system needs to be strengthened and supervised properly without compromising on the food quality. Food security and nutrition must remain a priority of the nation. There should be renewed focus on sustainable production, productivity and rural economic growth.

SHIKHA REKHI, Jalandhar City



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