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Swine flu claims three more lives, toll mounts to 80
Published on 26 Aug. 2009 11:09 PM IST
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Swine flu has taken three more lives, raising the nationwide toll to 80 even as authorities in worst-hit Pune have issued a fresh appeal to the people to get on with their daily activities without frequenting crowded places. Flu fatalities rose to 25 in Pune where 35-year-old Shabana Sheikh, who was on a ventilator since her admission to government-run Sassoon Hospital on August 22, died today, hospital sources said. Attendance in Pune schools and colleges, which reopened on Monday after a fortnight’s gap, remained low as a result of the scare created by the pandemic, officials said. The district administration appealed to the people to carry on with their daily chores without frequenting crowded places. Many Ganesh festival pandals displayed tableaux highlighting the do’s and don’ts about the viral disease. In Mumbai, Sandeep Gaikwad, who was admitted to L K Hiranandani Hospital in suburban Powai on August 3, died late last night, a municipal corporation official said. He had tested positive for the virus. 38-year-old Nagaraj, who suffering from breathlessness, was admitted to Sagar Hospital in Bangalore on August 15 and he died early today, health officials said. Meanwhile, the number of positive swine flu cases in Gujarat crossed the 100-mark on Tuesday. Of the 105 cases of H1N1 infection in the state, Ahmedabad has accounted for the maximum of 67, followed by Vadodara with a total of nine positive cases till date. A source in the state health and family welfare department said that the rise in positive swine flu forms a matter for concern and that the number of cases is expected to rise further in the days to follow. Of the total positive cases in the state, Ahmedabad’s accounting for nearly 65 per cent of them forms an alarming situation for the residents of the city and those visiting it. The number is rising and is likely to go much higher. For this, the government and doctors can warn and educate the people,” said Dr Atul Patel, an infectious diseases expert. “However, the onus lies on the people to be educated on this issue and to learn to pretext themselves from the virus.” Patel suggested that, for the education of the people, a good system needed to be developed to increase their awareness. “It is the responsibility of the people to support the government by helping themselves and remaining alert to their health issues,” he said. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, seven new positive swine flu cases were recorded in Gujarat, six of which were in Ahmedabad and one in Surat. All seven are males and between the ages of 11 and 28 years. The total number of suspected cases in Gujarat was 643 on Tuesday, with 537 of them having returned negative, the source in the state health and family welfare department said. “As done in other states, Gujarat has not closed its schools, colleges and other public places during festivals. In addition to this, the state government is bearing the load of treating people coming from Nasik and Pune,” said Jaynarayan Vyas, state health and family welfare minister. He said that as far as the number of cases in Ahmedabad was concerned, the reason for this was that the city formed the business capital of the state and that its population was also higher than that of other cities in Gujarat. “Since the civil hospital in Ahmedabad is a centre for treating swine flu, the flow of patients is greater here,” Vyas said. Seventeen swine flu patients have been admitted in hospitals in Gujarat. Of this figure, three are in VS hospital in Ahmedabad, and four in private hospitals and one in a government hospital in Rajkot. In Ahmedabad and Surat, one patient each has been admitted in government hospital, while the figures for Vadodara and Bhavnagar are five and two, respectively. DNA had earlier reported that suspected swine flu patients were avoiding private hospitals as they did not trust them and therefore preferred government hospitals for testing and treatment.

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