Swine flu kills over 400 this year

New Delhi: Swine flu has claimed the lives of 407 people across India this year, the health ministry said Wednesday.

During the period Jan 1 to Feb 10, the total number of H1N1 cases was 5,157 and the number of deaths was 407, the ministry said in a statement.

Most cases were from Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, whereas the deaths were largely from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana.

The cases were discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by union health secretary B.P. Sharma.

It was attended by Director General, Health Services (DGHS) Jagdish Prasad, representatives of leading government hospitals such as Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdurjung, AIIMS, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The meeting discussed the current trends of morbidity and mortality, the diagnostic and test algorithms being followed, availability of diagnostic kits and drugs, and other preventive measures.

Based on advice given by experts, it was decided that various health institutions treating swine flu cases be advised for vaccination against influenza for the concerned health workers in contact with patients, the statement said.

To enhance the level of preparedness, an additional 60,000 Oseltamivir medicines and 10,000 masks were being procured. In addition, the NCDC has floated a tender for additional 10,000 diagnostic kits, it said.

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