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Precaution prevails,4 schools shut

It was only on July 21 that Abhinav English Medium School,the first in Pune,closed down after 17 of its students tested positive for H1N1 virus.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
July 25, 2009 12:25:01 am

It was only on July 21 that Abhinav English Medium School,the first in Pune,closed down after 17 of its students tested positive for H1N1 virus. The pressure was mounting from parents,health officials and the civic administration for the closure of Abhinav Marathi Medium School too and the school authorities acquiesced on Friday. Though none of its students was infected,the Marathi medium school was closed down as a precautionary measure.

“This is a precautionary measure taken by the Marathi medium school. Considering the sentiments of parents,the management has decided to keep the Marathi medium school closed till Friday,July 31. Both English and Marathi medium schools will re-open on August 1,” said C S Latkar,secretary of the Adarsha Shikshan Mandali.

Latkar said the schools have been disinfected. The BEd college,computer lab and the management education building has also been disinfected,he said,urging students to observe home quarantine.

On Thursday,two schools — Symbiosis Primary and Secondary School and Sewa Sadan English Medium School — had announced closure. They will remain closed till August 2. On Friday,one student each from Abhinav English Medium School and Symbiosis tested positive.

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Leena Chaudhari,headmistress of Symbiosis Primary and Secondary School,said the school will remain closed till August 2. The school’s Parent Teacher Association representatives were informed about the decision via e-mail and telephone. “Parents have been very cooperative and the girl who was infected in Standard VI was a friend of an infected girl from Abhinav English Medium School. The alert parents took her to Naidu Hospital and immediately informed us.”

Dr Rajeev Yeravadekar,head of the Symbiosis Health Centre,said they would issue pamphlets on the dos and don’ts. He urged the parents not to panic. The Indian Medical Association has also been urged to dispel myths and fears related to swine flu.

“There was no panic. As soon as the health authorities told us there is a student infected with the flu,we decided to shut the school. Now it is the social responsibility of parents to ensure that the children observe home quarantine,” said Radhika Ogale,principal of Sewa Sadan English Medium School.

According to the swine flu control room in Mumbai,20 students infected with swine flu are from Abhinav English Medium School,two from Symbiosis and one from Seva Sadan. Of the 54 persons infected in the state,36 are from Pune. As many as 23 of them are students. Till now,22 have been discharged from the hospital while 14 are still undergoing treatment.

Haffkine to ease pressure on virology institute
Mumbai’s Haffkine Institute has now turned a swine flu detection centre,in a move aimed at easing the pressure on Pune’s National Institute of Virology (NIV).

The NIV will conduct parallel tests initially. “For the next 50 suspected cases,samples will be sent to both NIV and Haffkine Institute. If there is a discrepancy; NIV’s results will be taken as conclusive,” said Dr Pradeep Awte,in charge of state influenza cell.

2institutes conducted tests for swine flu so far — NIV and NICD,Delhi; both BSL3 labs

20samples NIV tests a day on an average

24-48hrs taken by NICD,NIV to give results

16more BSL2 labs authorised to conduct tests; authorities hope to save time

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