The H1N1 influenza or swine flu continue to spread across the nation as the toll registers a steady rise. The viral disease, which had recently forced BJP chief Amit Shah to check in into AIIMS for a few days, has now arrested Former Himachal Pradesh Chief MInister Virbhadra Singh.
The Congress leader is being treated at the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC), Shimla.
So far, over 2,500 people have been diagonsed with the H1N1 influenza across the country in the first month of 2019. According to a latest report, death toll in Rajasthan alone has hit 75. The state has registered over 1911 positive swine flu cases between January 1 to January 28.
Last week, Rajasthan's Health and Family Welfare Minister Raghu Sharma appealed to the people to contact the nearest hospital to seek medical help as soon as they face flu symptoms. We have cancelled the leaves of doctors to ensure patients don't face any problems, he added.
With the numbers rising, the health ministry recently held a meeting with the states and asked them to strengthen their surveillance for early case detection along with reserving beds in hospital to deal with acute cases.
"On the operational side, we have asked the states to reserve some beds in hospitals as in acute cases patients have to be put on ventilator. They have also been asked to issue advisories for people to take precautions. Also, there is sufficient stock of swine flu drug Oseltamivir and also there is no scarcity of N95 masks," a senior health ministry official said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has issued an advisory mentioning Dos and Don'ts for the people.
The advisory states that seasonal influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting viral, air borne disease spread from person-to-person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface (fomite transmission like telephone, cell phones, computers, door handles, door bells, pens, toys etc) and close contact, including hand shaking, hugging and kissing.
The Do's and Don'ts mention covering nose and mouth with disposable tissue or handkerchief while coughing or sneezing, washing hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding crowding places, maintaining isolation, drinking plenty of liquid and consulting doctor.
As per the advisory, one should not touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or hug, kiss and shake hands while greeting, or spit in public places, dispose of used napkin or tissue paper in open areas, smoke in public places.
Last year, the country reported 14,992 cases and 1,103 deaths due to the flu.