Thursday, December 08, 2022

Indian city bans gatherings over swine flu outbreak

By EMN Updated: Feb 24, 2015 11:06 pm


An Indian city has banned public gatherings to contain the spread of deadly swine flu after thousands were infected with the virus, officials said Tuesday.
Authorities in Ahmedabad, the largest city in western Gujarat state, said 219 people had died of swine flu since the start of the year, with more than 3,300 cases detected so far.
“We have issued a notification prohibiting any kind of public gathering in the district,” said senior city administrator Rajkumar Beniwal, adding only weddings and funerals would be exempt.“For any kind of public gathering the organisers will have to take prior permission from us. He will be required to provide masks to all those attending the event… (and) sanitisers and water,” he added.
The decision came after Gujarat’s junior health minister tested positive for swine flu Monday, just a day after the state assembly speaker was diagnosed with the virus.
The home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has registered the second-highest death toll from the outbreak after neighbouring Rajasthan, where the disease has claimed 225 lives.
India’s health ministry said that 833 people had died of swine flu from the beginning of the year till Sunday, while some 14,484 people had been infected.
Authorities in Gujarat have come under fire for failing to tackle the outbreak.
But the state health minister said that there was “no need for declaring the swine flu outbreak as (an) epidemic as the situation is under control”.The national government has reportedly offered help to states hit by the virus and has asked health officials to ensure necessary treatment and adequate medicines for swine flu patients. The government said it was reviewing procedures to prevent the disease from spreading further, including vaccinating medical staff working with affected patients.

Swine flu: WHO ‘carefully watching’ situation in India

World Health Organisation (WHO) is “carefully watching” the swine flu situation in India with close to 15,000 people having come down with the disease so far this year even though it said that there are “no signs” yet of the makings of a large outbreak of the H1N1 virus.
A senior WHO official said the seasonal influenza was quite normal at this time of the year and that its India office was closely working with the Indian government for dealing with the disease.
“We are working with the government on this to watch what is panning out in India. So far, there are no signs of the makings of a large outbreak. But we are watching carefully,” WHO Assistant Director General Flavia Bustreo told reporters here.
She said that in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa last year, “a lesson has been learnt that one can never be too careful and too cautious when there are epidemics that\ are appearing in countries”.
She also urged the media to report “responsibly” on swine flu and said that it should not “fuel” panic as was done when the Ebola crisis started. Health Minister JP Nadda today said that from January 1 till February 22, the number of cases reported by the states was 14,673 while the toll from swine flu has reached 841 in the country.
He said that the number of cases reported in 2009 were 27,236 while, in 2010, there were 20,604 swine flu cases in India. The number of deaths in 2009 were 981 and 1,763 in 2010. The number of cases and the toll from the disease in just two months this year is, therefore, being seen as a matter of concern. Government data today said that while 937 cases were reported in 2014, 218 had died from the disease. In 2013, 5,253 people were affected while 699 people lost their lives to the virus. In 2012, there were 405 casualties out of 5,044 cases reported.

By EMN Updated: Feb 24, 2015 11:06:25 pm