New Delhi, May 2 (ANI): Ministry of Health Joint Secretary Vineet Choudhary on Saturday assured people that India was still free from the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu.
"I wish to clarify that as of now, we do not have any confirmed case of H1N1 virus in this country. The screening that takes place in airports does pick up patients who have some symptoms of flu, cough, cold or fever. They are then subjected to a medical examination and as a matter of precaution; sometimes samples are drawn from such patients," said Chowdhary.
The statement came after two patients admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital who showed symptoms of fever and common cold after their arrival from abroad.
According to the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Nitish Kumar Chaturvedi, the patients are under strict observations and their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
"One of the suspect cases had travelled from Texas on April 19 and checked into the hospital late Friday. He is a resident of Ghaziabad and showed no symptoms at all. He caught fever on April 24and recovered after two days, but because of the awareness campaign by the media, he came to our isolation ward. Our physicians examined him and he showed no symptoms of swine flu at all, but still we are keeping him under observation," Chaturvedi said.
The other patient had arrived on a flight from London on Friday and was admitted to the hospital after being screened at the Delhi airport.
Reportedly, he had symptoms of cold, running nose, and throat infection, but had no fever. His samples are being examined.
Besides, another two passengers flying in from Chicago were also admitted in the hospital late on Friday night. Both were suffering from cough, cold, fever and upper respiratory infection.
Swine flu, which is now being called influenza A (H1N1) by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been spreading rapidly with over 350 confirmed cases being reported the world over.
The Government on Friday had said passengers from the H1N1 virus affected countries would be screened intently at all the airports of the country.
The authorities have deployed 96 doctors for the purpose. Screening was done at 10 airports yesterday. (ANI)