A spate of deaths due to swine flu across Gujarat dampened the festive spirit during Janmashtami, with the state government issuing an advisory for people to stay away from the annual festival fairs which draw lakhs of people.
An alarming 31 swine flu (H1N1) deaths have been reported in just three days (Sunday to Tuesday) from different parts of the state. As many as 13 people died on Sunday, 11 on Monday and seven on Tuesday, mostly in four major cities – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot – where hospitals receive a majority of the cases.
Since January, the influenza has claimed 210 lives in the state.
“While all government hospitals are well equipped to treat patients, a dedicated helpline number 104 has been launched,” said Health Commissioner Jayanti Ravi.
This season the state has witnessed a total 1,883 H1N1 cases so far. Out of this, 681 people have been have been cured, 994 are under treatment while 210 have died, according to the government’s latest health bulletin.
On Tuesday, seven persons infected with the virus died. Two deaths were reported from Kutch, one death each was reported from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Gir Somnath, Sabarkantha and Surat.
As many as 129 new cases of swine flu were registered on Tuesday, including 55 in Ahmedabad, 31 in Vadodara, six in Gandhinagar and five in Junagadh, among others.
The spurt in cases prompted Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to hold a review meeting with senior government officials over the weekend.
The government announced that 17,000 teams have launched an intense door-to-door surveillance across the state by roping in ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) and Anganwadi workers besides malarial surveillance squads.
Around 40,000 Anganwadi workers, over 5,000 doctors and 3,000 AYUSH doctors are part of these teams, an official release said.