Health Minister Says No Need to Panic on H1NI Influenza

In the wake of H1N1 influenza being declared a pandemic, Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad has said that Indians need not panic, for India has its defence in place against the flu.

He said that there are sufficient medicines to treat the flu, and to check the outburst, doctors are being trained. In the meantime, 8 cases of the influenza were confirmed in Hyderabad.

It may be mentioned that swine flu is officially the first pandemic of the 21st century, which is also the worst influenza bug seen in over 40 years.

Following sharp rise in cases of swine flu in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile, the WHO declared it a Pandemic on Thursday.

As India is in the “containment stage” classified as grade IV, the Health Ministry said that the flu has not broken out in the country and no clusters have been found.

“The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic. We are in the earliest days of the pandemic. The virus is spreading under a close and careful watch. No previous pandemic has been detected so early or watched so closely in real time, right at the very beginning,” said WHO chief Dr Margaret Chan.

In April, first case of the flu was seen in Mexico and it has spread to 74 countries since. According to official figures, as many as 30, 000 cases and over 140 deaths have been recorded so far.

In India, 15 cases have been reported. The first case was detected in Hyderabad, and till now seven cases have been confirmed. Reports of people with flu-like symptoms are also trickling in from Coimbatore, Goa and Delhi. Meanwhile, three cases have already been confirmed in Delhi.

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