Mumbai: Maharashtra government on Tuesday invoked
the Epidemic Act in Pune and Satara districts to check the
spread of swine flu, a day after 14-year-old Pune school girl
died of the deadly influenza virus.
"The Act has been invoked to prevent spread of this
air-borne A(H1N1) virus in the two districts (Pune and
Panchgani) where 127 cases have been reported," a senior
official in Maharashtra Health Directorate, Dr Pradeep Awate
A total of 150 cases of swine flu have been reported in
entire Maharashtra so far since April when the epidemic broke
out in Mexico and US, he said.
"We are asking all the patients to get admitted in
government hospitals and people should not go to private
hospitals. Also, the private hospitals should not take any
suspected patients as they do not have any right to do tests
unless they take permission from the government," he said.
If the private hospitals do not follow this mandatory
steps, severe action will be taken against them, Awate said.
Incidentally, Jahangir is the first private hospital
that treated a swine flu case outside the three civic
hospitals that have become the main referral centres for the
last one month in Pune and have not reported any fatality so
Reeda Shaikh, a class IX student of St Anne`s High
School in Pune, died at the Jahangir Hospital, making her
India`s first swine flu fatality.
Awate said, though there is a panic like situation in
Pune, "we are asking people not to worry but just follow the
government instructions to help prevent the spread of the
Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said
there was negligence on part of the private hospital which
treated the 14-year-old girl.
"This incident is really unfortunate. I feel there was
total negligence on the part of those who admitted her to the
hospital and negligence on part of the hospital," Chavan, who
discussed the issue with senior health officials here, said.
The victim was admitted to Pune`s Jahangir hospital a
week ago with symptoms of swine flu.
Chavan asked people not to fall prey to any rumours but
to co-operate with the health officials.