Private hospitals in the state with 50 or more beds and equipped
with ventilators can admit and treat 'Category C' patients suffering from
seasonal influenza including H1N1, Delhi health department has announced.
Patients in this category, in addition to regular flu symptoms of fever, cold and stomachache, typically display symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain.
According to sources, the new guidelines have brought in 122 more private hospitals, which can treat H1N1 cases. Already, 19 government and seven private hospitals have been designated as authorised centres to treat swine flu.
A senior health department official said, "The virus has now become part of seasonal influenza cycles. Despite issuing guidelines to labs to test only Category C patients - who have warning symptoms indicating lower respiratory problems with no underlying co-morbid conditions - we are still getting reports of over-testing which is spreading a lot of panic. So we are trying to address this through the messages, explaining who should get tested and when."