Treat all swine flu patients free of cost: Maharashtra CM Fadnavis

Written By Unknown on Senin, 02 Maret 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said the state will bear all expenses related to the treatment of H1N1 patients, even as unseasonal showers increased fears about the rise in infections.

"I have issued instructions to the public health department to ensure completely free treatment of H1N1 patients in private hospitals across the state. They cannot refuse swine flu treatment to anyone and the government will bear the entire cost of such treatment," Fadnavis told TOI.

READ ALSO: Over 600 swine flu patients in UP, CM orders free treatment

He said about 90% of the state's swine flu patients were from Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Latur. He said the disease was under control everywhere, except Latur, and the state health machinery had been put on high alert in the district.

Fadnavis said a more challenging task lies ahead in view of statewide rain, which has led to sudden drop in temperature and may lead to more swine flu cases. The CM said he had told the health secretary and all hospitals to take steps to combat the disease.

The CM said the state was working on a 'Mission Mode' and that all hospitals have been directed to provide free treatment. "We have told the private hospitals that the government will provide necessary medicines and cost for other essentials," Fadnavis tweeted on Sunday.

READ ALSO: Swine flu kills 600-plus in India, refuses to die

Sources in the chief minister's office said the public health department will compile a list of things that will come under "essentials" on Monday.

Fadnavis said the rain that Mumbai and other parts of the state witnessed for two days was worrying. "The dip in temperature may aggravate the spread of the virus. The next 15 days remain a challenge for us. The chief secretary and health minister are monitoring the situation and we are trying to raise awareness among people," he said.

Another dozen lives were lost to the virus in Maharashtra on Sunday, taking the toll to 143 in two months. There were three deaths from Mumbai around the same period and over 641 cases, of which 95 people had come from peripheral areas for treatment. Twentyone Mumbaikars tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
Virologists and public health experts, however, chose to look at the positive side."The rain could work in our favour. It has wiped out major vi ruses, pollutants and micro-organisms floating in the air," said Dr Hemant Thacker, who consults at Jaslok and Bhatia hospitals. "Of the 10 patients being tested, about two are coming positive. H1N1 will probably run its course, but there are good chances that the rain will slow it down," he said. Virologists too think there are greater chances of the sudden weather change working against the virus. "Our analysis says that influenza H1N1 has peaked this season. There are great chances that the rain will eliminate the virus," said Dr Abhay Chaudhary, director, Haffkine Research Insti tute. But he cautioned that the virus may thrive if the rain continues or if the extreme difference between day and night temperature continues.

Chaudhary said 25% samples being tested for flu were positive for viral infections."H1N1 (A) constitutes only 60% of the cases testing positive for seasonal flu. There are other viruses too in circulation, such as H3N2," he added. Public health minister Deepak Sawant said they will be on their toes. There is no need to panic, said Dr Tanu Singhal, paediatric infection consultant at Kokilaben Ambani Hospital.

READ ALSO: Even doctors find it difficult to get Tamiflu in Delhi

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