Last year's Swine flu outbreak in India showed inadequate preparedness, poor testing facilities and non-availability of drugs and vaccines.
So, this year, the government is geared up and the Delhi government has already provisioned for isolation beds in hospitals (both govt and private), adequate Tamiflu and vaccines stocks and use of media for education/prevention.
Dr. A. K. Rai, medical superintendent at Safdarjung Hospital said that 'voluntary' vaccination would begin in the hospital by the end of the month. "Currently, vaccination of health workers is the only method to protect them against the virus. We have 500-odd workers who have given their consent for the vaccination," he added.
According to doctors, the vaccination, which offers year-long protection, will also be recommended for high-risk patients.
Till September 30 this year, total 136 patients had died of swine flu. Among the seven patients who died this month include only one patient from city — a 41-year-old man from Baba Nagar, Kharbi who died on October 5.
The remaining include two from Bhandara district, four from Chandrapur district and one each from Amravai district and Seoni in Madhya Pradesh. Three patients died at KRIMS hospital, one at IGGMC, one at Suretech Hospital and one at Critical Care Hospital in Sitabuldi.
Two antiviral agents, Zanamivir (Relenza) and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), have been reported to help prevent or reduce the effects of swine flu if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Last season, over 4,259 people had been diagnosed with H1N1, while 12 people succumbed to the disease in the worst outbreak since 2009.
The burden of the morbidity and mortality of the Swine flu can be negligible if all the citizens practice good hand-nose hygiene and implement other common sense measures of sanitation.