2 more swine flu deaths in Chandigarh, 3 new cases

Chandigarh, Dec 30 - Two more people have succumbed to the influenza A (H1N1) virus in this union territory (UT), taking the toll to 50, health officials said here Wednesday.

"These deaths were reported yesterday (Tuesday) evening. The deceased women have been identified as 29-year-old Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Kurukshetra town in Haryana, and 30-year-old Parminder Kaur, a native of Patiala town in Punjab. They were admitted to the PGIMER (Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) for the last few days," H. C. Gera, UT nodal officer of swine flu, said.

He added: "We have informed the concerned health officials of Punjab and Haryana and told them to quarantine those people who were in direct contact with these patients. Furthermore, three more people, two from Haryana and one from Punjab tested positive for swine flu today."

So far 50 casualties have been reported in Chandigarh. These include seven from Chandigarh, 23 from Punjab, 14 from Haryana, five from Himachal Pradesh and one from Uttar Pradesh.

Over 800 patients have been screened for swine flu in UT hospitals till date and out of them 320 have tested positive.

A testing facility is available here at the virology department of PGIMER, which is also catering to the needs of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

"Seeing a surge in the number of suspected cases and the increasing rush of patients from other states, the UT health department has decided to start a testing facility at another hospital. It would start at the virology department of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in the coming days," said a UT health official.

"We have also authorised ten private doctors of Chandigarh who can give treatment for swine flu," he said. (IANS)