Mumbai: This year swine flu has infected over 3,500 people in Maharashtra and killed 366. Last month saw the biggest spurt in the flu-related deaths in the State at 103. In Mumbai alone this year, 850 cases and 16 deaths have been reported so far.
Actor Aamir Khan and wife Kiran Rao are among the latest to be afflicted by swine flu. The couple spoke about their battle with the H1N1 virus via video conference at the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup event in Pune, which they had to skip due to ill-health.
“It is a very happy day for us, but we are upset that after putting in efforts for one year, we could not be there to celebrate the day with you. We have been detected with H1N1 virus. It is known as swine flu commonly. It spread easily and therefore we have to remain in isolation for a week,” Mr. Khan said. The Satyamev Jayate Water Cup is an inter-village competition on watershed management and water conservation, organised by Paani Foundation, an NGO run by the actor and his wife.
Aamir Khan’s video message at the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup Awards event in Pune on Sunday has brought the focus back on swine flu in Maharashtra, especially Mumbai, which managed to control the outbreak last year but hasn’t been so successful this year.
There were just three reported cases of swine flu last year but there have been 835 cases and 16 deaths in Mumbai this year till July. Whole of Maharashtra has recorded 284 deaths this year till July and 2324 cases of Swine flu. That’s almost 50 per cent of the 600 deaths across the country.
Mumbai’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC is asking those with symptoms to take inspiration from Aamir Khan and stay put at home.
Doctors have been asked to closely monitor high risk groups like pregnant women, elderly groups and people with co-morbid conditions.
To ensure that the medication, Oseltamivir, is readily available across the country, the government has removed it from Schedule X and put it in Schedule H1, which means it can be sold across the counter on prescription. At the moment the state has enough stocks of oseltamivir to tackle this year’s outbreak, but if this trend continues the state will need more supplies.