The High court has directed the Delhi Government and the Union Government to submit their response with regard to the increasing cases of swine flu registering in the capital and the steps being taken to control the outbreak of the viral disease.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi Government's Health Department and municipal corporations received notices from a Division Bench. It was based on a public interest writ petition seeking directions for providing more laboratories for testing the H1N1 virus at an affordable cost.
The Bench, comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw observed that there was need to create greater awareness about the disease, its symptoms and treatment and asked the government to inform it about the steps taken to contain the virus.
Petitioner Leena Tuteja argued that the H1N1 virus test costs Rs.4,500 which is very high and put off people from getting examined. Petitioner's counsel Gaurav Bahl said that multiple testing labs should be established in all government hospitals as there are only three government laboratories conducting the test in Delhi.
The petitioner also sought directions to government hospitals to keep medicines in sufficient quantity for treatment of swine flu.
Senior scientists Dr. Rafi Ahmed, Director of Emory Vaccine Center and Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech have claimed that the state and central governments must take immediate steps to curb the virus.
They also stated that the scientists should carry out extensive research to find out whether the existing strain of the flu virus is evolving and adapting to the available drugs.
"There is a strong need for the Indian scientists to study the strains of the prevailing virus and understand them. The increasing cases of influenza require not only testing for H1N1 but also H3N2 a sub type of the influenza," said Dr.Rafi Ahmed.