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Azad’s outburst at health ministers
New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS):
Published on 22 Aug. 2009 1:13 AM IST
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Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday hit out at “bloody” state governments for not doing enough to contain the spread of the H1N1 virus, causing incensed state ministers to castigate him for his “unparliamentary language”. “Bloody, hum yahan par 20-24 ghante kaam karte hai aur aap aish karte ho (Bloody, we are working 20 to 24 hours. And you people are enjoying yourselves),” Azad said at a meeting of state health ministers here. Stunned silence followed the outburst, but Azad was unfazed and continued to scold the gathering. “You must wake up. Hum teen mahiney se aap ko jhel rahe hai (For the past three months, we are tolerating you people),” said the health minister after completing his written speech. “In fact, you should chase me rather than I chasing you. There is a limit to everything.” When told that his language had angered some minister, Azad said: “It is between us.” Reacting angrily to Azad’s remark, Gujarat Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas said: “This is the wrong language and not befitting a union minister. He is behaving like a headmaster and this is not the procedure in a federal system.” “We all know that there is a pandemic in the country. And the state and centre must cooperate...’Bloody’ is an unparliamentary word. This is not fair on his (Azad) part,” Vyas, who came out of the meeting hall after the health minister’s address, told reporters. Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Anup Mishra told IANS: “The central and state governments must cooperate. The language was not right. I believe controlling the pandemic is a joint responsibility. No one can shift the blame.” Azad also blamed the state governments for not giving due attention to health. “Some states are doing good but majority of states have not done well (on controlling swine flu). Health is a state matter, and so each state is duty bound to protect the lives of their people,” Azad said. He said states must shed their lethargy and do everything to control and contain the spread of the virus. “I would request the state governments to spend more to improve the healthcare sector, but I am afraid if they are chickening out. Whatever I provide will not benefit much.” Azad also announced that the government has given permission to 20 private laboratories to conduct swine flu tests and reiterated that there was no need to panic as the spread of the virus was being controlled. Meanwhile, PTI reported that four fresh deaths were reported including that of a CRPF jawan, the first fatality in security forces, taking the nationwide toll to 48. H1N1 cases up in Assam GUWAHATI, AUG 21: The total number of H1N1 cases in Assam has gone up to four even as one of the affected patients was declared fit by doctors on Friday. Manjit Gogoi, a call centre executive in New Delhi who was visiting home, was diagnosed with the disease at Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh last week. He was declared cured by the doctors, though he would be kept under observation at his residence in Dibrugarh town, reported UNI. The wife of a former Aryman, Hemaboti Sinha, was tested positive for a disease yesterday and admitted to the isolation ward of the Army base hospital in Basistha here. She is suspected to have contracted the virus from her husband Raj Kumar Sinha, who was admitted to the hospital after confirmation of H1N1 virus earlier this week. No Tamiflu for healthy LONDON, Aug 21(AP): The World Health Organization says healthy people who catch swine flu don’t need antiviral drugs like Tamiflu. In new advice issued to health officials on Friday, the UN agency said doctors don’t need to give Tamiflu to healthy people who have mild to moderate cases of swine flu. WHO said the drug should definitely be used to treat people in risk groups who get the virus. That includes children less than five years old, pregnant women, people over age 65 and those with other health problems like heart disease, HIV or diabetes. The new advice contradicts government policies such as those in Britain, which has been giving out Tamiflu to all people suspected of having swine flu.

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