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India still safe from swine flu


Satyarth Nayak,Nikita Mishra,CNN-IBN
May 05, 2009 at 02:27am IST

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New Delhi: With almost 1,000 cases reported across 20 countries of the H1 N1 virus, there are fears of it spreading to India. So far though, all suspected cases have tested negative, India is yet to report a case of H1 N1 virus or swine flu.

So far 12 suspected samples have tested negative. These include all the samples collected at Hyderabad and Mumbai. Currently results of three passengers from Delhi and two from Kochi are awaited.

The Cabinet Secretary has confirmed that stocks for anti-viral treatment and personal protective equipment have reached 17 states. But what could be of concern is that there are just one million doses of tami flu in India. Another nine million doses are expected in the next few days. India though has no intentions of sealing its borders.

"All ports are under observation, India will not seal its borders. Sea ports and all 22 international airports have started strict surveillance," said Health Ministry Joint Secretary, Vineet Chawdhary.

On Sunday night two suspect cases of swine flu were referred to the airport Health Organisation's quarantine facility in Delhi. Both passengers are of Indian origin and their nasal and throat samples have been sent for tests.

As per latest Health Ministry information this quarantine facility will now be the primary screening centre for inbound travellers to India while the already overcrowded Ram Manohar Lohia hospital will be the tertiary centre.

Meanwhile thorough screening of inbound passengers continues at all the 22 international airports of the country.

"If you declare, they take care of you, else they are not bothering people. They are taking proper care and we appreciate it," said a passenger at an airport.

"It was a smooth process and it's reassuring that your country is doing well," said another.

Over 8,300 passengers from affected countries have been screened by over 192 doctors. Screening of 2,000 backlog passengers who came in the first week of infection spread from Mexico, US and Canada has also started.

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