Lucknow: Swine flu has now spread to many new districts in Uttar Pradesh and the number of people infected has risen to 614 in the last 24-hours, an official said on Monday.
According to information provided by health authorities, the worst hit district is the state capital Lucknow, with more than 505 cases of H1N1 in the past few weeks.
With heavy rains in the state in the past 48-hours there has been a steep drop in temperatures, a development which officials fear could aggravate the virus and, in turn, lead to new cases surfacing in the next few days.
The second highest number of swine flu infections (27) has been reported from Noida, neighbouring New Delhi, and officials suspect that the number in the city could steadily increase because of it being an information technology and commercial hub, with a large number of people from other states travelling to and fro.
Thirteen swine flu positive patients were admitted in Bareilly. In the last 24-hours, Lucknow has reported 37 of the 45 fresh cases of H1N1 in the state. Health officials told IANS that a major consignment of over 1.4 lakh Tamiflu tablets has reached the state and 16,000 vaccines have also been procured.
"With schools in the state closing for Holi and precautions undertaken by health authorities, we hope in the coming days the virus would be controlled to a certain extent," an official told IANS.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has intervened and has directed health officials to ensure more isolation wards with extra beds in all districts.
On Sunday, he reviewed the situation with senior health officials including principal secretary (health) Arvind Kumar and principal secretary (medical education) Raj Pratap Singh.
A toll free helpline 18001805145 has also been established at all districts to make people aware of the flu and how to effectively contain it.