Health Minister Azad blames State CMs for slow H1N1 response

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (ANI): Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday blamed State Chief Ministers for their slow response to the H1N1 outbreak.

He said this after chairing the State Health Ministers' Conference, which was held to review the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM).

Azad said that very few State Chief Ministers had contacted him. He said, "I had to chase State Chief Ministers rather than them asking."

As the health authorities in Delhi confirmed two swine flu deaths, he said each state should have institutional mechanism to monitor health standards.

The Minister also deflected blame after criticism over the handling of the H1N1 outbreak.

A 35-year-old female patient died at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Wednesday night becoming the first victim of the virus in the national capital.

Thirty one year old Samrat Pandeya, a resident of Gurgaon, who was initially treated at various private hospitals and later brought to the RML Hospital, succumbed to the virus on Thursday morning.

According to hospital sources, Pandeya was admitted to the hospital on August 14 with symptoms of fever, breathlessness and signs of pneumonia. He tested positive for H1N1 flu. Pandeya had been on ventilator since August 15, sources said.

Delhi State health authorities have said there is no need to panic, since both patients had contact history and a history of travel to affected countries.

Health authorities said the demise of the victims was due to failure to follow established treatment procedure.

Now, the overall H1N1 toll in the country has risen to 38. (ANI)

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