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Health officials asked to monitor swine flu situation

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With swine flu deaths reported from various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry today directed officials to “closely” monitor the situation and take necessary steps to tackle the seasonal influenza.

Health Minister J P Nadda who chaired a review meeting regarding the prepardness for tackling the disease is also learnt to have directed officials to strengthen the nationwide awareness campaign.

“Reviewed preparations for tackling Swine Flu at a meeting, directed officials to closely monitor the situation,” Nadda said in a tweet.

This comes even as swine flu claimed five more lives, including three in Jaipur, taking the toll to 10 since early this year in Rajasthan.

Five persons, including three in the state capital and one each in Kota and Ajmer, have succumbed to H1N1 virus in the last four days (since January 15), a senior state Medical and Health Department official said.

In a high level meeting chaired by the Health Minister in December last year, it was decided that this season, the focus of the Ministry will be on Maharashtra and Rajasthan as a large number of deaths and cases related to the disease were reported from these states last season.

“The Minister directed officials to strengthen the Information Education and Communication (IEC) activities so that people are aware of the disease and its preventive measures,” a senior Health Ministry official said, adding that the availibility of medicines was also reviewed.

During the earlier meeting to review the preparedness for tackling the seasonal influenza, Nadda had also issued necessary directions to officials related to procurement of medicines, training, issuing of advisories and guidelines for state governments.

The impact of the outbreak of swine flu was largely seen in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

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