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Swine flu havoc continues in Hyderabad with 210 cases reported in just 36 days

HYDERABAD: A dip in temperatures is a known accelerant of swine flu and 210 people tested positive overtaking the 2016 numbers within 36 days. 70 cases were observed in just four days of this month.

Dr. K Narasimhulu, former swine flu coordinator at Gandhi Hospital who worked at the nodal center during 2015 said.”Nothing can be said, but it may point towards changes in the  H1N1 virus.”

Many private hospitals are providing treatment for both suspected as well as cases confirmed by Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM). The government health official said that the private hospitals charge exorbitantly, per day treatment cost of an H1N1suspect or a positive patient in ICU range between Rs 40,000 and Rs 3 lakh depending upon the size of the hospital.

Mujtaba Hasan Askari, president, Helping Hand Foundation, which recently sought the intervention of the principal secretary (health) said. “We had requested the government to set up a task force on swine flu to manage and monitor a range of issues, including raising awareness and surveillance to negotiate with private hospitals for common package rate. But no such steps have been taken yet.”

All most all the patients are getting treated in the private hospitals for instead of going to government-run hospitals. At least 70 H1N1 positive cases are seen in the first four days in Feb by IPM testing and only 8-10 cases were getting treated at government hospitals, including Gandhi and Niloufer and the corporate hospitals are not providing free treatment to poor H1N1 patients with BPL cards or despite being brought under Aarogyasri through a circular dating back to January 2015.

Dr. T Narsinga Reddy, chairman of Aarogyasri Private Network Hospitals, Telangana said.”The Aarogyasri rules are a complete eyewash as they say that private empanelled hospitals can treat H1N1 patients only when they come in last stage -Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. This is nothing but double standards as management of swine flu patients must start at an early stage in ICUs even before they develop ARDS.”