Maharashtra has decided to provide free treatment for swine flu patients across the state, following the death of nearly 150 people due to the viral disease, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced here on Monday.
The state government will bear all medical expenses related to treatment of swine flu (H1N1) patients in government or private hospitals, Fadnavis said.
Fear of infections has grown in Maharashtra following unseasonal rains and a sharp dip in temperatures in most parts of the state in the past three days.
"We have issued orders to all private hospitals not to deny treatment to any swine flu patient as the state government will bear the expenses. Simultaneously, we shall conduct an awareness drive among the people about the disease all over the state," Fadnavis said.
Over 600 cases of swine flu have been reported from across the state, with 90 percent of the cases in big cities and districts like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Latur.
The administration is also making provisions for adequate supply of Tembiflu medicines and face masks in these five districts, especially during the next two weeks - considered a critical phase in view of changing weather conditions.
All public and private hospitals have been instructed to take sufficient measures to counter the further spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, people in Mumbai, Pune and other places were seen wearing face masks or tying scarves and handkerchiefs while commuting or moving around in crowded localities.