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J&K: Omar reviews swine flu preparedness in state

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
August 10, 2009 21:40 IST
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Even though state health minister on Monday ruled out outbreak of swine flu in Jammu and Kashmir, the state chief minister took stock of the preparedness to deal with the pandemic.

Jammu and Kashmir, according to health experts in Srinagar, is a high risk area as the state receives a heavy influx of domestic and foreign visitor's everyday.

Thousands of tourists are trooping the Valley to escape the heat these days.

At a meeting with top health officials in Srinagar on Monday, Omar Abdullah issued strict instructions to make the state's 'preparedness to tackle the pandemic foolproof' and 'visitors of all categories need to be screened to ensure pre-emption of the disease going un-detected.'

The CM was informed that screening teams have been put in place at Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports besides, establishing isolation rooms and quarantine the area.

Rapid response teams have also been formed at district and state levels and medicines and personal protective gear equipment made adequately available in the state, an official statement issued in Srinagar said.

It was also stated that special vehicles and ambulances have been kept available for transportation of staff and patients.

Revised guidelines have been circulated to all the concerned besides, notifying hospitals for testing, the statement said.

"Isolation wards have been established in all the leading hospitals of the state," the statement added.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned authorities to make immediate arrangements for sensitizing educational institutions at all levels making the staff and the students aware about the symptoms and preventive measures of Swine Flu.

Abdullah also stressed on equipping district hospitals with the required facilities to take first-aid measures relating to the screening of patients for H1N1 infection.

He said teams of expert doctors should always be available at the district and state level to help ensure prevention and treatment, if required.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar