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Government takes steps to control H1N1 pandemic

Posted on Feb 12, 06:58PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 12 : The Indian government on Tuesday said steps are being taken to control the outbreak of H1N1 influenza in the country.

"World Health Organisation while declaring the Pandemic to be over in August 2010, conveyed that the influenza H1N1 pandemic virus would take on the behaviour of seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come. Hence, in the post-pandemic period, localized outbreaks of varying magnitude with significant level of H1N1 transmission are expected," said a release issued by the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday.

"As expected, our country had experienced outbreaks during the period August to October, 2010; May-July 2011; March and October, 2012. Now, in the month of January-February, 2013, there is increased number of cases reported from the State of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Union Territory of Chandigarh and Delhi," said the ministry.

The following actions have been taken:

· States of Punjab, Haryana, J and K, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar , Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh , Chattisgarh and UT Administration of Chandigarh and have been requested to:

o Keep the medical response system in a state of preparedness to screen large number of patients and for managing those who require critical care.

o Follow guidelines on categorization and testing of patients (that were followed during the pandemic).

o Provide requisition for Oseltamivir tablets (anti-viral drug), Personal Protective Equipment and masks if required.

o Address media, both print and visual, for factual reporting that would alienate fears among the public.

· Request for antiviral drug (6,00,000 tablet), Personal Protective equipment and masks received from the State of Rajasthan is being dispatched on 9.02.2013. The request for 1,00,000Oseltamivir tablet received from Government of Haryana is being processed.

· A central stockpile of about 5.5 million doses of Oseltamivir is maintained.

· Department of Pharmaceuticals is monitoring the availability of the raw ingredient (Shikmic Acid) required for making Oseltamivir.

· Materials for print and visual media are available with the State Governments (in local languages also).

· The situation is being monitored on day to day basis. Weekly updates are posted on MOHFW website (mohfw.nic.in).

Guidelines on screening, patient categorization, laboratory diagnosis, isolation, clinical management, infection control etc. are available on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) website as also the dedicated website for Pandemic Influenza [mohfw-h1n1.nic.in (website though archival is accessible)].

Influenza A H1N1 Situation in Delhi

· Delhi has reported 57 laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza A H1N1 since 1st January 2013 of which 3 have died (as on 7th February 2013).

· Health Minister of Govt. of NCT of Delhi reviewed the situation yesterday and has addressed the media.

· 22 hospitals (17 in Government sector and 5 in private sector) and 8 laboratories (3 in Government sector and 5 in private sector) have been activated. This includes Central Government institutions namely RML Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, and laboratories of NCDC and AIIMS.

· Adequate stock of medicines, PPE etc are available with Delhi Government.

· A public notice is being issued by Delhi Government regarding available facilities for treatment.