Hyderabad, Jan 21: Concerned over mounting swine flu cases in Telangana, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao Wednesday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the situation and sought the central government's help in tackling the crisis.
The chief minister spoke to Modi over phone and urged him to send central teams to help the state health authorities.
According to the chief minister's office, Modi responded positively to the request. Rao also spoke to union Health Minister J.P. Nadda and sought immediate help to contain the spread of the virus.
He also had a word with union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Bandaru Dattatreya and urged them to coordinate with the central government to help the state.
With five deaths and about 50 new cases reported Tuesday, the chief minister called an emergency meeting of the state cabinet Wednesday evening to discuss the emergency measures to be taken.
Telangana Health Secretary Suresh Chanda has also left for New Delhi to brief the officials of union health ministry and seek help.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, voiced unhappiness over the performance of the health department. He felt that health authorities remained unmoved despite the increasing number of cases.
Declaring an all out war on swine flu, he reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and the officials of the health department and sought a detailed report.
He has also called a meeting with the private hospitals to discuss measures to be taken by them to deal with the increasing number of cases.
"Initially I thought that this will pass but it has not. The number of cases is going up. We have to be brave to deal with this," KCR said while addressing a meeting Wednesday morning to pay tributes to late Congress leader G. Venkatswamy.
As the cold weather conditions are likely to continue for 20 more days, KCR said there was a need for the authorities to remain on alert to check the spread of H1N1 virus and create public awareness on the preventive measures.
The chief minister said the government was ready to spend any amount of money to make the vaccines available.
KCR took a serious view of the situation after five more swine flu deaths were reported Tuesday at government-run Gandhi Hospital and Osmania Hospital in Hyderabad, taking the toll to 21. As many as 12 deaths were reported this month.
About 50 people have tested positive for swine flu, taking the overall positive cases in the state to 221 in January.