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Cabinet Secretary reviews steps to tackle swine flu

New Delhi/Shillong, May 4 (ANI): Cabinet Secretary K.M Chandershekhar held a video-conference with the Chief Secretaries of 17 States on Monday to review the steps taken by the State Governments in the face of a large number of cases of influenza A, H1N1, reported from several countries.

The Director General of Health Services held a meeting with the Director of Health Services of States/ Union Territories and discussed technical aspects including surveillance at airports, ports and community; laboratory support; sample collection and transportation, clinical management and risk communication.

As of now, no case has been reported in India, and the situation is being monitored.

Meanwhile, the veterinary doctors have taken precautionary measure in Meghalaya to pre-empt the outbreak.

The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary (AH&V) Department based in Shillong has issued directives to report any case of the disease to their respective Disease Investigative Officers (DIO).

“No known case of swine flu influence has been reported in pig in state and also in the whole country. Therefore, this virus has had no effect in regards to consumption of meat and pork,” said Dr. D Khonglah, Director, animal husbandry and veterinary, Government of Meghalaya.

Scientists of the ICAR for Northeastern Region are all geared up to counter the disease if there is an outbreak.

“The government of India, particularly the department of animal husbandry, has given directives to all the states to keep vigilance and observe if there is any report of swine flu. As per our reports so far, we have not received any report of swine flu in this part of the country” said Dr. S.U. Ngachan, Director, ICAR, north eastern region.

As a precautionary measure, the piggery has been closed for outsiders and in the event of an outbreak, the state would seek assistance from the Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory in Bhopal.

The consumption of pork in Meghalaya and other Northeastern states is relatively high as compared to other parts of the country.

In 2007-08, consumption of pork was over 10000 tons in the state.

Health screening of passengers coming from affected countries is continuing in 21 international airports at Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Varanasi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Srinagar, Trichy and Trivandrum.

A total of 41,498 passengers have been screened.

Around 8353 passengers were from affected countries.

172 doctors and 82 paramedics have been deployed to man 61 counters at the above airports.

Four passengers have been referred to identified health facility (two at Delhi and two at Cochin). So far a total of 12 samples have been tested negative. Three samples are under test.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 985 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza A, H1N1 infection with 26 deaths from twenty countries.

There are 226 laboratory confirmed human cases in USA with one death. Mexico has reported 590 cases including 25 deaths.

The other countries which have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths are:  Austria (1), Canada (85), Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) (1), Costa Rica (1) Columbia (1) Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (2), Germany (8), Ireland (1), Israel (3), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Republic of Korea (1) Spain (40), Switzerland (1)  and United Kingdom (15). (ANI)

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