New Delhi / Mumbai / Chennai: Two more people have died from swine flu in India, taking the death toll to four, an official said on Sunday, as the government reviewed measures to control the virus.
Flu factor: A crowd at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital’s screening centre for H1N1 in Delhi on Sunday. Gujarat became the second state to report a swine flu casualty with the death of a 43-year-old man. Manvender Vashist / PTI
The latest deaths were reported overnight from Maharashtra and Gujarat, a health ministry spokesman said.
One of the dead was 43-year-old Praveen Patel who arrived in Gujarat on 31 July from Atlanta in the US, the Press Trust of India reported. The other was a 42-year-old Maharashtra schoolteacher Sanjay Tukaram Kokre, according to the news agency.
According to health authorities, about 800 people have tested positive for the A/H1N1 infection. A health ministry statement said 511 of the 800 had been treated successfully, adding that swine flu was also responsible for the death on Saturday of a 53-year-old woman, Fahmida Panwala, from Mumbai who was suffering other medical problems.
India’s first swine flu casualty was 14-year-old girl from Pune who died on 3 August .
After infections increased across the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered the health ministry to coordinate action with state governments, a spokesman said.
In Mumbai, three swine flu patients were in a critical condition and put on ventilator while all educational institutions in Pune were closed down for a week as Maharashtra grappled with rising cases of the disease. “Two 35-year-old patients admitted to Sasoon Hospital in Pune and in Mumbai a 28-year-old man, put on ventilator at L H Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, are reported critical,” state health directorate official Pradeep Awate said.
Meanwhile, amid spiralling cases of swine flu countrywide, the southern states have put their health machinery on a heightened alert with Karnataka planning to screen 10 million students for the virus under its free health check-up scheme and Tamil Nadu ordering passengers be checked at railway stations.
Separately, four persons who tested positive in Goa, two engineering students with flu symptoms in Jammu, and 11 positive cases from Haryana are under treatment in various hospitals.
(‘PTI’ contributed to this story.)