Ranchi, Aug. 13: The state is apprehending an increased swine flu threat following return of students from Pune and Mumbai, where institutions have been shut down in the wake of a pandemic.
It has decided to rope in private hospitals in the flu fight. Most have been asked to ready isolation wards.
“It is a possible that some students are in the incubation phase (period between infection and the appearance of first symptoms). We do not want to take any risk and have decided to man the Tatanagar railway station. A check will be run on all students returning home from Pune, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra,” said special secretary of state health department Nitin Madan Kulkarni.
Most students travelling from Pune and other parts of Maharashtra take the Tatanagar route to go to different districts of the state.
However, only those who claim they have flu symptoms will be sent for pathological tests to confirm the presence of H1N1. People who suspect swine flu symptoms may also go for throat and nasal swab tests.
Meanwhile, additional secretary in the Union government’s defence production department S.K. Sharma today held a high-level meeting on the state’s preparedness to check swine flu.
Chief secretary A.K. Basu, health secretary Shivendu Kulkarni, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) director N.N. Aggrawal, civil surgeons of Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bokaro and officials of private hospitals were present at the meeting.
“We have sufficient stock of medicines and have requisitioned for additional drugs,” said a health department official.
“But we have categorically stated that at this juncture, it would not be possible to set a bio-safety cabinet (isolation ward) which is both costly and time-consuming. What we have suggested is that after initial rounds of investigation, the cases should be referred to a government hospital,” said S.A. Ansari, director (projects) of Abdur Razzaque Ansari Memorial Weavers’ Hospital.
Meanwhile, NGOs have joined the fight against swine flu in Dhanbad.
Dhanbad Action Group launched an awareness campaign at BSS School. They will be covering various schools of the district.
“Our awareness programme is to highlight the fact that H1N1 is a mild strain of virus and only 10 deaths are reported in over 10,000 cases,” said N.K. Singh, the patron of the organisation.