Chandigarh, Feb 23: Swine flu has claimed four more lives in Punjab, taking the death toll to 33 in the state, while in neighbouring Haryana the virus has claimed 20 lives so far this year, officials said on Monday.
"According to the latest reports available with us, 33 persons have succumbed to H1N1 in Punjab so far," said Deepak Bhatia, State Surveillance Officer of Punjab Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.
As many as 140 persons have tested positive so far for the H1N1 virus, the official said. In Haryana, swine flu has claimed 20 lives this year while the number of positive cases has reached 130, state's Additional Director General, Health Services, Kamla Singh said.
As part of the guidelines issued to combat the H1N1 virus by the Centre to states, health workers have been asked to screen people with symptoms of the flu on the basis of their severity and categorise them, Bhatia added.
Bhatia further said an advisory has been issued to both government and private schools to send students showing symptoms of swine flu on a five-day leave.
An advisory has been issued to both government and private schools
"The instructions have been issued to all government and private schools in the state in this regard," he said. Students of all schools and colleges are being monitored on a daily basis, as per the guidelines issued to educational institutions, he said.
According to him, people have been advised to avoid crowded places, not to sneeze or spit without the use of tissue paper/handkerchief and adopt practises of frequent hand washing with soap and water.
The health officials of both Punjab and Haryana maintain that the situation is "under control" and hospitals are well- equipped to take care of patients and there was no need for panic.