On Saturday, the union and state government decided to isolate the patients diagnosed with Totally Drug Resistant (TDR) tuberculosis at a 30-bed facility in Jaisinghpur, Sangli, in a bid to arrest the spread of the infection in the city.
PD Hinduja Hospital first diagnosed TDR-TB in October 2011
The state health department is also planning a citywide surveillance drive to detect and treat TDR tuberculosis cases. "These patients will be shifted immediately and the state will look after their treatment and diet, " said Health Minister Suresh Shetty.
PD Hinduja Hospital diagnosed 12 patients with TDR-TB around October 2011, out of which three succumbed to the disease a week ago. Two of them died in the last one week itself. Currently 13 patients in the city have been identified with TDR-TB.
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was in the city on Saturday and directed the tuberculosis division at the centre, which handles the tuberculosis management programme in the country, to visit Mumbai on Monday instead of Wednesday.
Shetty added, "JJ Hospital's laboratory will start drug sensitivity tests from Monday, and the BMC has promised us that they will set up their own lab in the next three months' time. The union government has agreed to help us with free kits for tests and drugs."