Swine flu claimed three more lives in Maharashtra on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths due to the H1N1 virus to 43 so far, state Health Minister Deepak Sawant said here.

He said as many as 57 new cases of swine flu have been reported across the state in a day. "One person, a native of Gujarat, has lost his life while undergoing treatment in Mumbai, while the rest are from Latur and Pune. The total number of people reported to be suffering from (swine) flu now stands at 296, while a total of 43 people have lost their lives," Sawant told reporters.

Out of the total number of deceased, three persons were natives of Madhya Pradesh while one each hailed from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. "133 people have successfully undergone treatment for the disease and have been sent home," the minister said. Sawant said the maximum cases of swine flu have been reported from Nagpur (100), followed by Pune (83) while the number of people affected by the infection in Mumbai stands at 76.

"All the government hospitals are fully equipped to treat patients suffering from swine flu. The state has enough stock of Oseltamivir and other medicines to treat patients," Sawant said. Listing precautionary measures, he said people should regularly wash their hands with soap and eat nutritious food.

"People should increase intake of lemon, awla, oranges and green vegetables as they help in building a strong immune system. Besides, proper sleep and water is very important. Also, people should use a handkerchief while sneezing in public," Sawant said. He asked people to avoid spitting in public places and self medication. "If anybody thinks they are having symptoms of swine flu, they should immediately consult a doctor," Sawant said.