Chandigarh: With 13 suspected cases of swine flu being reported in the state in the first three days of the year, the Punjab health department has issued guidelines to private and government hospitals for keeping a check on the surge in cases of H1N1 and also warned the institutes of police action if they did not follow the guidelines.
Of 13 suspected cases, no case has been found to be positive so far. In eight years, 306 people have died due to swine flu in Punjab. Of these, 32 took place in 2019.
The health department has directed both private and government hospitals in the state to set up isolation wards. To stop the virus from spreading, patients, either suspected or confirmed, should be kept in isolation, it said. The government is providing free treatment in all hospitals.
Hospitals have been asked to put all cases of influenza H1N1 on treatment as per protocol without waiting for laboratory results. They have been directed to inform the health department about all swine flu cases, suspected and confirmed.
Private laboratories or hospitals willing to carry out H1N1 tests will have to take permission from the health department. For implementing the guidelines, a committee headed by the civil surgeon will be constituted in each district and it will have a medical specialist, paediatrician, anaesthetist and district epidemiologist as members. The committee has been empowered to take action in case of disobedience of the guidelines. Those found not following the guidelines will be liable to punished under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
Dr Gagandeep Singh Grover, state programme officer for Punjab’s National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), said the health department had supplied required medicines to all government hospitals — three medical colleges, 22 district hospitals and 41 sub-divisional hospitals – and the medical staff has been vaccinated.
The department is also spreading awareness about the flu. Terming late reporting as the biggest challenge, Dr Grover said in most of the cases in which patients lost their lives in the past were late in approaching doctors for treatment.-Times Of India