Swine flu: Govt mulls tests for all in contact with the infected

Kutch collector M S Patel made the suggestion to track those who have come in contact with the infected.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Published: February 12, 2015 3:41:07 am

With swine flu deaths on the rise, the Gujarat Government is mulling over tests for all those who have come in contact with H1N1 positive cases in the last 72 hours of reporting of such cases to control the rising toll by providing timely treatment.

This suggestion came during a video conference on Wednesday by Chief Secretary D J Pandian with collectors of all 33 districts in the state. Pandian held the conference with district authorities a day after 10 deaths were reported due to swine flu, taking the total toll to 98 since January 1.

Union Minister of State for health J P Nadda also held meeting with Gujarat health minister Nitin Patel and other officials on Tuesday.

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Kutch collector M S Patel made the suggestion to track those who have come in contact with the infected. The idea is to do timely tests of all who have met the positive H1N1-affected persons in the last 72 hours. Kutch is the worst-affected district in Gujarat. Many collectors opined that the timely diagnosis will help curb the situation. The Gujarat Government, through local bodies, has also begun door-to-door survey.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Wednesday gave nod to the construction of 25 new public health centres and 60 new primary health centres across various districts in the state at the total cost of nearly Rs 150 crore.

This will lead to the availability of additional 1,110 beds, along with an operation theatre and ambulance at every public health centre. The cost of per unit construction for public health centre and primary health centre will be Rs 3.55 crore and Rs 1 crore,  respectively. This will also lead to the creation of 1,360 jobs.

Case filed against health official for blaming ‘pig-rearing’ caste for H1N1

Surat: A Dalit woman health worker has filed a complaint against a public health official for making objectionable references to a certain community while briefing a village about swine flu in Tapi district of south Gujarat, one of the areas badly affected by the H1N1 virus. During a swine flu awareness and training programme, held at Vaka village in Nizar taluka of Tapi district on Saturday, the Primary Health Centre officer Dr Dharmesh Kumar reportedly made references to a particular caste which “reared pigs” which he linked to the spread of swine flu. The doctor apparently said this while narrating a history of the H1N1 virus which he said was spread by pigs. One of the female health workers, who was among the 12 present at the programme,  stood up and objected to his statement.

On Tuesday, the woman submitted an application to the office of Vyara Taluka health officer Dr R P Patel, seeking action against the doctor for hurting her  “religious sentiments”.  Dr Kumar hails from Bihar and has been working in Vaka village Primary health care centre. Taluka health officer Dr R P Patel said, “We have received a complaint and we will try and investigate it. We will take statements of the complainant woman health worker and also other women who were present at the seminar. We will call Dr Dharmesh Kumar and will also record his statements. We will analyse both the statements and will later take further steps.” Dr Kumar, who has been posted at Vaka village for the last one year, said, “My intention was not to hurt anybody’s sentiments. I was giving details about how the disease spreads. I will definitely apologise if my statements had hurt anybody’s sentiments. My intention was to give information, but she had taken it personally.”     ENS

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