HC directs formation of committee to deal with swine flu

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Mar 9: Jammu and Kashmir High Court today directed formation of three member committee tasked to chalk out programmes to control the spread of swine flu in Kashmir valley where 11 people have died so far and around 400 have been tested positive for the deadly virus.
The Division Bench of High Court comprising Justice MH Attar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed the Director SKIMS (head of the committee) to hold weekly meetings with Director Health Services and Principal Government Medical College Srinagar and chalk out programmes to ensure that H1N1 gets controlled and does not affect the people any further.
“The said committee will also work out the further requirements and will report to the Government about the steps to be taken for effectively dealing with H1N1 influenza”, court directed.
Court further directed the committee to take essential measures in conducting awareness programs about the virus and protective measure to be taken by general public.
The Union Ministry of Health has been directed to take steps for implementing the recommendations of the committee.
Court also directed that the general public be informed about the protective measures to be taken. “The said authority (Director SKIMS) shall also through print and electronic media inform the general public about the protective measures to be taken adding that the Director Information in this regard shall render all assistance to the Director SKIMS”, reads the court order.
“The committee shall also report to the Government about the measures to be taken in respect of protecting school going children from the H1N1 influenza and state Government in this connection shall take immediate steps for implementation of recommendation by the committee”, court said.
Court directed Commissioner-Secretary Medical Education to file compliance report of recommendation made by the committee before next date of hearing of the matter.
Director SKIMS in response to the earlier court direction states in his report that few case of swine flu were detected in October last year and those persons have recovered and first case of this influenza was confirmed afresh on January 27 this year at influenza lab of this hospital.
“The number of patients suspected of suffering from this influenza increased and immediately thereafter 32 bedded isolation ward was created in the hospital with additional staff of doctors, paramedics and nurses were put on duty in the said ward”, reveals the report.
It is further stated in the report that in view of the reporting of large number of suspected cases, 30 samples are being processed daily and out of 815 samples 279 were found positive for influenza.
Report of Director Health Services reveals that out of 56 samples 20 were found positive of H1N1 and 18 samples are pending of results and 55,400 capsules (Oseltamavir) were procured and distributed to all districts for treatment of H1N1 positive patients.
Senior Advocate General Javed Kawoosa representing Health Department produced a communication addressed to Commissioner/Secretary Health by the Principal Government Medical College which reveals that the Government has released Rs 5.63 crores for the establishment of one more lab at CD Hospital Srinagar and finalization of works for remodeling and upgrading of H1N1 lab at the said hospital is underway.
The petitioner in the petition states that the Government has failed to take appropriate steps for controlling the disease in the Valley as the Health Department has not kept any special team to observe the flu ( H1N1) patients whosoever having this infection.
He further submits that more persons have died of this disease because there is no drug facility and even no precautionary measures have been taken by the authorities nor any vaccination has been made to the public. As such is seeking necessary vaccination arrangements by the authorities to curb the menace.


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