Govt steps up measures to check outbreak of swine flu in India

Govt steps up measures to check outbreak of swine flu in India
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First Published: Tue, May 05 2009. 01 12 AM IST
Updated: Tue, May 05 2009. 01 12 AM IST
New Delhi/Kochi/Bangalore: India has not reported any incidence of swine flu, renamed the A/H1N1 influenza virus, so far. The flu has spread to 20 countries within 10 days of being first reported by the World Health Organization.
The Union government has tested 15 international travellers since 29 April. While 12 have tested negative for the flu, test results for three passengers, one from Germany and two from the US, are pending, said Vineet Choudhry, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.
Two more samples have been collected in Kochi and are on their way to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in New Delhi, he said.
Separately, Hyderabad-based Ocimum Biosolutions Ltd said on Monday that it has developed a DNA-based molecular diagonistics probe that can quickly detect swine flu in patients.
Passengers are now being screened for swine flu at 21 international airports in India. So far, 41,498 passengers have been screened, of which around 8,353 were from affected countries, Choudhry said.
On Monday, cabinet secretary K.M. Chandershekhar held a videoconference with chief secretaries in 17 states to review preparedness.
The government is also trying to track down 84 people who have entered Uttar Pradesh and Bihar by road from the countries affected.
In Kochi, two passengers, a 27-year-old woman from London and an 11-year-old boy from Australia, who arrived at the international airport early on Monday, were taken to a government hospital after they were found to be exhibiting symptoms of viral fever, Choudhry said. These two will be under observation for the next 48 hours.
radhieka.p@livemint.com
A staff writer in Bangalore contributed to this story.
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First Published: Tue, May 05 2009. 01 12 AM IST