In a bid to boost the patients' morale and to dispel the unnecessary scare over the illness, the minister refused to wear a protective mask when he met the patients at the KC hospital.
Assuring the people that the state was well-equipped to fight the Swine flu, he pointed out that the state had so far reported only five Swine flu related deaths, that too due to wrong diagnosis or late confirmation.
He promised that such deaths would not recur and urged the people not to panic.
He revealed that state government has initiated measures to formulate an antidote, along with increasing the stock of the Tamiflu tablets.
The anti-viral drugs have been distributed to various districts and the health authorities at the taluk and district levels have been given the screening and testing guidelines, he told the reporters.
Answering a question, the minister clarified that as of now only government institutions are doing the tests and diagnosis. However, since some private hospitals have come forward ready set up lab facilities, the state government has referred them to the Union Government for approval, he said.
He also rubbished the Opposition's allegations that the state government was not doing enough to contain the virus. He argued that they were just using Swine flu to defame the government.