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322 swine flu cases reported in India: Health Minister

July 23, 2009 00:40 IST
As many as 322 swine flu cases have been reported in the country so far, with 234 of them being treated and discharged compared to 200 deaths reported in the United States, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday.

"This proves that swine flu is 100 per cent curable in so far as our country is concerned. ... We are lucky that there have been no deaths in our country," he told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour, noting that over 200 casualties were reported each in the US and Mexico, besides many more in the United Kingdom and Japan.

Of the 322 cases reported, 256 persons got infected abroad.

"Of them, 111 cases came from the US, 32 from Australia, 15 from Thailand and some others from Canada, Germany and Singapore," he said.

Noting that almost 36 lakh passengers were screened for H1N1 virus at entry points like airports so far, Azad said this was almost 45,000 passengers a day for the past two and a half months.

While those found infected were being quarantined in one major hospital in each state, the number of labs to check the virus have been increased from 2 to 18 now, he said.

10 more flu cases in Delhi

Ten more persons, including five students, tested positive for swine flu in the national capital on Wednesday even as Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit advised schools in the city not to create panic by closing down.

Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia said 10 fresh cases of swine flu were reported taking the total number of those affected by virus in the city to 113.

She said of the 10 cases, five were those of students. So far 21 are admitted in the hospital are getting the treatment.

The Health Department has already issued advisories to private schools informing them about precautions needed to be taken to prevent spread of the disease among students.

With schools authorities shutting down their schools soon after a case of swine flu is reported in any of its students, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has advised them not to create panic by doing so.

"Closing down the school will create a panic, which is not necessary," Dikshit told mediapersons while reacting to reports of various schools asking their students to go on leave.

She, however, felt that it was the discretion of parents to send their children to school or not. "If parents don't want to send their ward (let them) not send them to school. The choice is with them. But we do not want to create a situation of panic which is not there," Dikshit said.

Last week, St Thomas School, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and Springdales School in Pusa road had asked their students to go on precautionary leave after their students was tested positive for the flu.

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