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Swine flu claims 2 lives, PMC pins blame on private hospitals

The deadly swine flu claimed two lives on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 25 since January this year. Authorities said Mulshi resident Dattoba Mahatare (62) succumbed to the H1N1 virus on Tuesday afternoon at Sanjeevan Hospital after testing positive on Monday, while Dhayari resident Rukhminia Chakankar (45) succumbed to the virus at Poona Hospital in the night.

Following the loss of lives, the medical health officer of the PMC pinned the blame on private hospitals, accusing them of negligence in detecting and treating H1N1 cases.

“Private hospitals often turn a blind eye to patients showing H1N1 symptoms and start treating them for viral fever. This delay in treatment then puts the patient in a critical condition. In many cases, patients have died because of the hold-up in treatment, which is crucial if it extends to less than three days,” said ST Pardeshi, PMC’s¬†medical officer of health.

According to PMC officials, there is a spurt of H1N1 cases reported in July and thousands of people are being screened daily at PMC centres. “There is an increase in influenza cases during monsoon. This is a normal trend,” said Mandeep Chadha, senior scientist at the National Institute of Virology.¬†

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