Swine flu claims 2 lives

Earlier, 4 tested positive; coronavirus ward doubles up as isolation unit

Swine flu claims 2 lives

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 27

Two of the four persons who were tested positive for swine flu in the district have died. While all four patients from the city had reported to the DMC and the CMC, Ludhiana, the two patients died during treatment there.

While the city saw as many as seven swine flu deaths in 2017, the cases have suddenly increased in the past two weeks. One of the deaths was reported yesterday.

In all from Jalandhar, a 70-year-old man from Master Tara Singh Nagar, two patients from Nakodar and a patient from Nurmahal were tested positive.

Of these, the patients from Nakodar and Nurmahal have died. The patient from Nurmahal died yesterday. The first death was reported in the previous week.

The city also grapples with a severe dearth of infrastructure to tackle swine flu cases.

The four–bed ward that had been readied as isolation unit for coronavirus is doubling up as isolation ward for swine flu as well. However, till now the swine flu patients have only reported to Ludhiana hospitals.

As a backup in case of emergency, a 30-bed unit has been prepared as isolation ward. However, it is a basic ward with minimal infrastructure (only beds) without any proper arrangements needed for an ICU. The authorities say in case of an emergency, they have the means to arrange for contingency backup. Meanwhile, the isolation ward also has its own set of problems due to constantly falling rubble from an under-construction unit on the second floor of the trauma centre. The isolation ward is on the first floor of the centre. Jalandhar Civil Surgeon Gurinder Kaur Chawla said: “So far four cases have been reported in Jalandhar. All were admitted to the DMC and the CMC. At present, we have prepared an isolation unit at the trauma centre for swine flu. But if there is a coronavirus suspect, backup arrangements had also been made.”

Responding on what was being done to avert more cases of the flu, she said: “We are spreading awareness drives at various places and keeping people updated on the issue.”

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