Kolkata, Feb 24: Despite five swine flu deaths and increase in the number of the affected, the West Bengal government today said the situation was well under control and there was no cause for panic.
After reviewing the latest situation at a high-level meeting at the state secretariat, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee advised ministers, senior officials and authorities of local civic bodies to take appropriate measures to prevent further spread of the virus.
"There have been five deaths (including one from Mumbai) so far. The health status of the patients whether in the government or private hospitals is being closely monitored," the state government said in a release after the meeting.
Out of the 80 swine flu patients in the state so far (including two from Assam and one each from Mumbai and Jharkhand), more than half have been cured and discharged from hospitals, the release said.
"The government laboratory is fully equipped to test the samples being taken from the patients. More testing centres will be opened by the government in North Bengal Medical College and School of Tropical Medicine," it said.
Welcoming the private sectors to open such centres, the release further said that the government hospitals including medical colleges and district hospitals have isolation wards to handle the cases including those needing ventilation support.
"All hospitals including private hospitals have been made aware of the protocols in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines to combat the disease. Simple ways of avoiding the disease are being publicised," it said.
The state government has also decided to drive away pigs from Howrah, Salt lake and other municipal areas, the release said, adding the urban local bodies would undertake vector-control measures like source reduction and improvement in general cleanliness.
The status of vector-borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Japanese Encephalitis was also reviewed in the meeting attended by Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, besides Women and Child Development Minister Sasi Panja.