Chief Ministers told to step up preparednessAug 12th, 2009 | By editor | Category: In News, Nation
NEW DELHI: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday asked the State Chief Ministers to step up preparedness to tackle swine flu.
Swine flu has caused the death of 11 people across the country and affected 1,000. Maharashtra is the worst-affected with seven deaths, followed by Gujarat (two), Chennai (one) and Kerala (one). As many as 119 confirmed cases were reported in the past 24 hours, with Pune accounting for 62, followed by Mumbai (24) and Delhi 15. The other cases were from Nashik, Goa, Manipal, Nagpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Osmanabad and Jammu.
The Centre has decided to involve Central, State and local government establishments, including medical colleges and institutions and private health institutions, in flu management. It has asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the National Disaster Management Authority and the State governments to train doctors and paramedical staff in dealing with swine flu. Awareness campaigns will form part of the strategy.
The exercise is aimed at intensifying efforts at creating a dedicated apparatus within the government and private infrastructure to deal with the emerging pandemic of A (H1N1) influenza.
Mr. Azad asked the Chief Ministers to chair the first meeting with Central government teams to ensure on-the-spot decisions and swift implementation.
The Central teams, headed by officers of the rank of additional and joint secretaries of other Ministries, will help the States in capacity-building right up to the level of community and primary health centres.
They have been mandated to discuss the new guidelines for influenza management with the States besides identifying laboratories for testing and hospitals — both public and private — for screening, diagnosis and treatment.
Briefing the teams here on Tuesday, Mr. Azad called for an integrated approach to the problem.