Nineteen people died of swine flu last month in Punjab, the state health minister has confirmed. Hospitals in the state have been put on alert and have been asked to follow all precautions.
Thirteen patients died in the last 10 days alone. Doctors say that the virus is likely to stay active till the end of March and advice people to take up preventive measures.
Although many of the patients died in Ludhiana hospitals, they camfrom different cities of Punjab. This indicated that the virus was spread-out.
“Doctors have been instructed to start treating patients who have been suspected of contracting the virus. They need not wait for the test results as that will take at least two days. They have also been asked to spread awareness among the masses,” said Surjit Kumar Jayani, Punjab health minister.
“We ask the public not to self-medicate even in seemingly mild cases of cough and cold. We advice them to consult a registered medical practitioner so as to control the infection at an early stage,” said Dr. Gagandeep Grover, nodal officer for swine flu disease control in Punjab. “Medicines are available at all community health centres (CHCs) and civil hospital.