Swine flu claimed 39 more lives as the death toll reached closer to 1000 while the number of people affected by the H1N1 virus across the country crossed 17,000 on Thursday.
Ministry sources said 965 people have perished due to the disease while the total number of people affected with the seasonal influenza virus has crossed 17,000 till the evening of February 25, 2015.
The Health Ministry had on Wednesday put the total number of deaths at 926 and the number of affected persons at 16,235.
Fresh cases were reported from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Nagaland and Bihar among other States.
The government meanwhile asserted it is “very serious” on combating the challenge and asked people not to panic but be alert as necessary arrangements are in place to deal with the situation.
Health Minister J.P. Nadda also termed the recent imposition of prohibitory orders disallowing gatherings in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat to prevent swine flu as a “precautionary” measure and a “strategy to control”.
The Health Ministry has asked all States to review the geographic locations of Schedule X chemists and issue fresh licence for unrepresented areas and to ensure availability of Osetamivir drug, used for treating the disease with them.
In the guidelines uploaded on the Ministry’s website, details like epidemiology of seasonal influenza, action taken by government till February 24, technical guidelines, list of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme and Indian Council of Medical Research laboratories, Information Education Communication (IEC) and list of outlets having Schedule X licence authorised to sell Oseltamivir formulation for swine flu have been given.
“The States have been asked to follow the risk categorisation followed during the Pandemic (Category A — mild cases: domiciliary care, no drug treatment, Category B — requires drug Oseltamivir, but no hospitalisation — and Category C — requires drug treatment, testing and hospitalisation).
“The protocol for categorisation and ventilator management of influenza cases have been reviewed and provided to all the States,” the Ministry said.