Ahmedabad: A 43-year-old man, identified as Pravin Patel from Atlanta died of swine flu in Ahmedabad. This death has brought the toll of swine flu related deaths in India to four.
His wife, whose name was not immediately available is critical as she too has been affected with the H1N1 virus.
Earlier on Saturday, a 42-year-old teacher died of swine flu in Pune, making it the third death in the country of the disease and second in the city.
GEARING UP: A worker putting up a signboard as people queue up to test for swine flu at RML hospital in New Delhi.
Pravin Patel was a non-resident Indian (NRI) who was admitted to the civil hospital in Ahmedabad. He had travelled to Ahmedabad from Atlanta along with his wife on July 31.
Patel and his wife, were earlier under treatment at a private hospital till August 4, say reports.
CNN-IBN correspondents from Ahmedabad, Gaurav Shah and Meghdoot Sharon report that the Patels developed symptoms for swine flu on August 5 and tested positive for the same on August 7.
A relative of deceased, Jagdish Patel said, “We first took him top a private clinic and then took him to the civil hospital, when he was suspected of having swine flu.”
“If there was proper screening at the airport and if blood samples were taken, then we would have been able to treat him properly," said Bharat Patel, another relative of the NRI couple.
Health Minister of Gujarat, Jaynarayan Vyas said, “I understand their feelings. But it is impossible to check the virus in the window period. As Health minister, I regret that we could not save his life.”
Vyas reportedly told IANS, "This is the first swine flu death in Ahmedabad. The patient had earlier complications as well - he had viral pneumonia, which is very difficult to treat, his haemoglobin was low. All these outer problems added to the complications of swine flu and he passed away."
Gujarat has witnessed 52 suspected cases so far out of which 13 have tested positive.
Pravin Patel's death comes only a day after Sanjay Tukaram Kokre, a resident of a village near Pune, died at the government-run Sassoon Hospital.
Kokre had been admitted to the hospital on Friday. Hospital sources said Kokre was put on ventilator after his condition deteriorated but could not be saved.
When He was admitted, his situation was critical. He was put on a ventilator. He was in the ward meant for suspected cases as his reports were awaited. Afetr his reports came in as positive, we put him in ICU.At quarter past midnight on August 9, he died," said the Duty Superintendent at Sassoon hospital, Dr R G Todmal.
Pune girl, 14-year-old Rida Shaikh from St Anne's school became India's first swine flu victim when she died in Pune on Monday.
Famida Panwala, 53, who had diabetes and hypertension, died after being diagnosed with swine flu in Mumbai on Saturday. She was India's second swine flu victim as the influenza A(H1N1) virus continued to spread across the country, infecting 71 new patients including the NRI couple and a number of doctors.
Panwala, a Mumbai resident, died at Kasturba hospital, Maharashtra's Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Sharvari Gokhale told IANS in Mumbai.
The total number of people infected by the contagious virus has reached 783, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. Of the 71 fresh cases, Pune recorded 34, Delhi 13, Mumbai 2, Bangalore 10, Chennai seven, Mangalore three and Amritsar and Faridabad one each.
Among the states, Maharashtra is the worst affected with over 260 cases. Pune accounts for the majority of them.
"A central team has been deputed today (Saturday) to Pune to assess the situation and institute appropriate public health measures," the Ministry said on Saturday.
In Pune, a medico and a pharmacist, both positive cases of swine flu, continued to be critical for the second day on Saturday at the Sassoon Hospital.
"They are both on ventilators and their condition is causing concern," said Pradeep Awate, head of the state Swine Flu Control Room.
In Mumbai, 28-year-old businessman Sandeep Gaikwad, who was admitted to the Hiranandani Hospital after developing swine flue symptoms last week, turned critical on Friday and was put on a ventilator.
In Delhi where hundreds of people flocked to testing centres, at least two doctors were home-quarantined with suspected swine flu.
"I am now home-quarantined for two days," chief medical officer of the swine flu detection centre at the government-run Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital, S K Sharma told IANS.
"We are too much exposed to the virus as we spend over 12 hours in the testing centre. My sample has been sent for tests and the result will come in 48 hours," he said.
In Kolkata two doctors, Ranjit Mandal and Prashanta Sarkar, were admitted to the Infectious Diseases (ID) hospital with symptoms of swine flu. They had fever, cough and cold.
"Their samples have been sent for testing," the state health department's nodal officer for swine flu Tapas Sen told IANS.
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also reported their first swine flu suspects on Saturday.
In Pune, except for one case, all new cases are indigenous, most of them social or school contacts.
One among the two cases reported in Mumbai is a six-year-old girl who had travelled from London.
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has asked for a week's closure of schools, colleges and theatres in Mumbai, the backdrop of spurt in cases of swine flu in the city. After the death 53-year-old Mumbai woman Fahmida Panwala, Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday voiced concerns about the need to check the spread of the H1N1 virus.
"The Government should close down these places for eight days as Mumbai is under attack by the swine flu and it can spread very fast in the metropolis," he said.
Of the 13 cases in Delhi, two have a travel history. The case admitted in the identified health facility in Faridabad is a 33-year-old man who travelled from Italy. The case from Amritsar is a 26-year-old man who travelled from Dubai and was identified during screening at Delhi airport.
Of the seven cases in Chennai, three are travel-related cases. All 10 cases reported from Bangalore are indigenous. One case reported in Mangalore is a contact of the earlier reported positive case admitted in the same city. The other two had travelled to that city from Delhi and Hyderabad.
The country has now seen four deaths from swine flu with the number of infected cases rising to 782.
Of the total cases, 71 were reported on Saturday with 34 cases from Pune alone. Altogether 511 patients of the total cases have been discharged while four have died. The rest are being treated in stipulated government hospitals across the country.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)