M A I N   N E W S

Swine Flu Scare
Maharashtra mulls curbs on Ganpati celebrations
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, August 9
The Maharashtra Government was considering to impose restrictions on Navratra and Ganesh festival celebrations so as to check the spread of swine flu in the state, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said here today. “We have called a meeting of all Ganesh mandals on Monday to discuss measures to curb the spread of swine flu,” he said.

Ganesh and Dahi Handi festivals are a major draw in Mumbai, Pune and other cities of Maharashtra. However, considering the political implications, Chavan decided not to curb assembly of people at public places. Health officials had earlier demanded that the government should shut down malls, cinemas and restrict assembly of people at public places to prevent the spread of swine flu.

Chavan also added that the government was holding meetings with managements of private hospitals to make them admit patients suffering from the H1N1 virus. “We will take a decision on this within two days,” Chavan said.

Scare on the streets

A man ties a handkerchief around his face as he enters a local hospital to get checked for swine flu in Mumbai on Sunday. — AFP photo

Meanwhile, Sanjay Kokare, 42, became the third victim of swine flu in Maharashtra today. Kokare, a schoolteacher from Khedgaon village, near Pune, died at the city’s Sassoon Hospital early this morning. He fell ill on July 31 and was taken to a local hospital. He returned home after his condition improved. However, after just two days, his condition worsened and he was admitted to a private hospital. After he tested positive for swine flu, he was moved to Sassoon Hospital on August 8 and put on a ventilator.

Two more patients are in a critical condition at Sassoon Hospital in Pune while a third patient admitted to private LH Hiranandani Hospital in Powai continues to be critical, according to Dr Pradeep Awate, who heads the swine flu control room.

Meanwhile, the authorities of Pune and the neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad civic bodies have ordered all schools to be shut for eight days as a precautionary measure. Some schoolchildren have tested positive in these areas. Dhirubhai Ambani School in Navi Mumbai has been also closed after a student tested positive for H1N1 virus. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said district collectors would decide on shutting down schools, depending on more students testing positive for the virus.



Core panel to tackle outbreak

Mumbai: Rattled by three swine flu deaths in six days, the Maharashtra Government on Sunday set up a core group to monitor Influenza A (H1N1) spread, as four new cases were reported in the state, three from Pune and one from Navi Mumbai. The group includes officials from the health, education, home, social welfare and other departments concerned. It will take steps to deal with the situation arising out of swine flu outbreak.

“We are taking all possible measures and strictly monitoring developments across the state,” Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said after chairing an emergency meeting of health and education officials to discuss the H1N1 situation in the state. — IANS



2 confirmed cases in Kashmir

Srinagar, August 9
The Kashmir region has reported two cases of swine flu so far while the blood samples of 17 suspects are being checked for H1N1 virus.

Dr BA Gash, nodal officer for the Kashmir region, told The Tribune that there was no need for any panic in the valley. He said both victims, wife and son of an Army officer serving in Srinagar, were outsiders and had contracted the virus in Bangkok which they had just visited.

“They developed symptoms on the way and reported themselves to the health authorities soon after their flight landed. They recovered in five days,” he said.

Meanwhile, even as the state health authorities await reports of two suspected cases of swine flu, one more case with similar symptoms reported at Government Medical College (GMC) here today. — TNS



IIT student under scanner at Guwahati
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, August 9
An IIT-Guwahati student has been put under scanner in the isolation ward of Mahendra Mohan Choudhury (MMC) Civil Hospital here after he had shown symptoms of swine flu two days ago. Blood samples were sent for test to New Delhi, report of which is awaited.

The IIT-G student started showing symptoms of swine flu on July 28 after he had returned to the city from Canada where he had stayed for over two months. “We have sent his blood samples for test in New Delhi laboratory and hope to receive the report soon. Till then, the patient is under scanner in isolation ward of a hospital,” Regional Health Director Partha Jyoti Gogoi said.

Earlier, another IIT-G student was isolated with H1N1 symptoms but was released later after the test results were found negative.

A large number of students from Assam study in Pune where H1N1 virus claimed its first victim of the country a few days ago. Already some panic-stricken students have returned home from Pune.

The MMC hospital, with seven beds so far in the isolation ward, is the only one in the state that has been equipped to treat swine flu cases, if any.



Delhi, Pune schools on alert

New Delhi/Pune: Two city schools have been closed for a week from tomorrow after a student each from the educational institution tested positive for swine flu. Sanskriti School decided to close for a week after a student tested positive yesterday.

“This is a precautionary step. We are also in touch with parents to find out whether their children had come in contact with the student who tested positive,” its principal Abha Sehegal said. DPS East of Kailash has also been closed for a week after a class-IV student tested positive for the virus. The school will reopen on August 17.

With the city reporting 13 fresh cases of swine flu, the Delhi government on Sunday said it will issue an advisory to all schools to take precautionary measures but appealed to the people not to “panic.”

Several schools in Mumbai and neighbouring Navi Mumbai and also all education institutions in Pune and Pimpri have also been closed for a week as a precautionary measure. — PTI



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |