Manmohan Singh speaks with Azad over swine flu outbreak

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New Delhi, Aug 9 (ANI): Taking a serious view of the swine flu outbreak in the country, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today spoke with Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and reviewed the situation.

During the conversation, Dr. Singh asked Azad to inform him about any aggravation in the H1N1 virus outbreak. He also asked him to appoint a panel of doctors to remove the false impression about the virus and make the public more aware of the disease.

Dr Singh also asked the Health Ministry to make sure that only doctors in the panel and not health ministry officials be allowed to brief the media over the swine flu situation in the country.

Meanwhile, with three of the country's four swine flu deaths occurring in Maharashtra, the state government is considering a proposal to restrict movement of people in public places.

The move was discussed at a high-level meeting convened by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

According to sources, the Maharashtra Government is considering the adoption of the 'Mexican Model', which endorses restrictions on access to public places.

Under the Mexican Model, schools and colleges are closed down for a specific period of time.

Earlier talking to reporters, Azad had defended the UPA Government's actions on curbing the spread of the disease. Azad said: "Swine flu has been spreading across the world since April... it came into India later. We have contained the (H1N1) A virus to a big extent."

"We took steps which other nations didn't. We screened people coming into India at airports and sea ports," Azad added. Earlier, a 43-year-old Non-Resident Indian (NRI) died of swine flu at the City Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.

With this, the country has seen four deaths from swine flu and the number of infected cases rising to 782.

On Saturday, 53-year-old Fahmida Panwala from Mumbai and 42-year-old teacher Sanjay Tukaram Kokre from Pune had died of swine flu.

Earlier on August 3, a 14-year-old schoolgirl Reeda Shaikh had died in Pune. (ANI)

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