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Maharashtra Govt to launch H1N1 awareness programme

"July-August is a critical period for swine flu (H1N1). Therefore, a special programme (community awareness campaign) will be undertaken by the Government across the state for prevention of the disease," Health Minister Suresh Shetty said. 

He was replying to a short debate on swine flu after the issue was raised by Deepak Sawant (Shiv Sena).

Shetty said Maharashtra is strictly following the Central Government's protocol on tackling the disease, which has affected people in cities like Pune, Mumbai and Nashik. He, however, said there was no need to panic.

"Isolation wards for swine flu patients have been set up across the state. A 232-bed isolation ward has been set up in Pune (the worst affected city) and 186-bed ward in Mumbai. Such wards have also been set up in Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Nashik, among others," he said.

The Minister said there is adequate stock of Tamiflu, a drug meant for the treatment of flu infections, including H1N1. "There are 11.5 lakh Tamiflu capsules available for the entire state," he said.

Nine persons have died due to the disease in the year ended March 2012. Some of them were suffering from other ailments also, Shetty said.

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