Pune: India on Tuesday reported its eighth death from swine flu as a 13-year-old schoolgirl became the fifth victim of the deadly Influenza A(H1N1) virus in Pune.
According to Dr Pandurang Pawar, Medical Superintendent of the Sassoon General Hospital, Shruti Gawade, a student of Ahilyadevi School, succumbed to the virus at around 1.30 am.
Shruti, a resident of Narayan Peth area, had tested positive last Saturday. She was then admitted to Sassoon Hospital on Sunday in a critical condition. The girl had been kept on ventilator since August 7 when she was brought here after being referred from a private hospital in critical condition.
The victim’s death in the Sassoon Hospital came barely hours after a pharmacist Sanjay Tilekar died here last night, according to an official from the State Swine Flu Control Room said.
So far, a total of 333 people have been affected by the virus all over Maharashtra, with Pune notching 221, Mumbai (81), and Satara (31).
Pune also tops the list of casualties with five deaths so far followed by one death each in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai.
In Chennai, a four-year-old boy fell prey to the deadly virus on Monday.
Even as the swine flu epidemic continues to spread havoc in the country, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has insisted that the situation is still under control and the toll is far less as compared with other affected countries.
Briefing newsmen yesterday, Azad informed about the steps being taken by the government to contain world’s fastest growing epidemic.
A high-level meeting was called earlier on Monday to asses the situation that was attended by the Heath Minister himself along with Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar, Health Secretary Naresh Dayal, besides a team of medical experts.
The Health Minister assured that his Ministry was taking adequate steps to evaluate the state of affairs and control the spread of swine flu epidemic.
Meanwhile, Pune administration has decided to close schools, colleges, shopping malls for at least a weak starting today, while cinema halls will remain closed for next three days.
First Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 11:23