Nine deaths due to swine flu in Punjab in just one-and-half-months have forced the state health department to put all state hospitals on alert. So far, 21 positive cases of swine flu have been reported from different districts since January 1 this year, officials said.
Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra told The Indian Express on Wednesday that directions have been issued to all the hospitals in the state to stay on alert and that all hospitals are equipped to provide treatment and facilities to the patients, Health officials say there are 21 confirmed cases of swine flu in the state, while as many as nine people have died at different hospitals so far this year. As per the records, two each deaths have been reported from Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala and S A S Nagar districts. Three deaths have been reported from Ludhiana, Sangrur and Ropar as well. Dr Gagandeep Singh Grover, state programme officer for Punjab’s National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) says the number of rising deaths due to swine flu “is a concern”, but maintains that it is the usual pattern every year in Punjab and swine flu cases come up between January and March.
He said that all government hospitals (District Hospitals and Sub District Hospitals) have isolation ward and approximately 9000 employee have been vaccinated. “Drugs and logistics available in all districts,” said Grover.
Health department sources said that the death pattern has revealed that patients report very late in hospital.
Grover added that early reporting and early initiation of treatment with antivirals can decrease morbidity and mortality. “All of the patients who have died because of swine flu are initially admitted in private hospitals. Awareness activities being undertaken for public to report early in the disease,” he says, adding that the department is also holding public awareness in houses and buses. Health records also reveal that so far the department has provided treatment to 112 people who had come in contact with the swine flu positive patients.
Last year, the total number of swine flu cases reported in state were 239.76 people had died due to swine flu in 2017, which was the highest number of deaths in the state in one year since 2009.
Grover says no case of dengue and Chikungunya has been reported from any part of the state so far.