New Delhi: Amid concerns that the H1N1 influenza A virus, or swine flu, was spreading fast in the country, especially the worst-hit Pune city in Maharashtra, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday sought to allay concerns saying the virus’ spread was minimal in the country.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha amid an uproar over government’s lack of preparedness to handle the outbreak, following the death of a girl in Pune, the Health Minister said the virus’ spread was minimal considering the size of the country.
He also rebuffed concerns that the government wasn’t adequately prepared to tackle the crisis, saying 19 centres were operational across the country to conduct H1N1 tests of which 17 were set up in the past one month.
While describing Pune girl Rida Sheikh’s death as unfortunate, Azad said the girl succumbed because of late diagnosis. The girl was first admitted to a private hospital which failed to diagnose her for swine flu.
The WHO, the UN’s health body, has recommended Tamiflu as the medicine to treat the virus, Azad further said, adding the medicine had worked in treating many patients. He also appealed to the public to have faith in the medicine.
First Published: Friday, August 07, 2009, 13:20