Sena leader Dr Deepak Sawant, who is currently an MLC and been alloted Public Health and Family Welfare department, while addressing the press meet on Swine Flu gave the following figures:
1. The number of Swine Flu suspected in Maharashtra is 97248.
2. The number of people who were administered Tami Flu 6888.
3. The number of patients admitted for Swine Flu 678.
4. The Number of Deaths in the State 83.
a) 74 from Maharashtra b) 9 from other states
5. The Number of patients admitted on Feb.19, 2015 205.
6. The number of patients in Nagpur are 175
6. The Number of patients on Ventilator 40.
7. The Number of Deaths in Nagpur city 22.
8. The Number of Deaths in Nagpur District (Rural) 03.
9. The Number of Deaths in Chandrapur 02.
10. The Number of Deaths in Wardha 02.
11. The Number of Deaths in Gondia 02.
The number of fatalities countrywide is 10,000.
To a question on whether Swine Flu has become an epidemic, Dr Deepak Sawant said that Global Warming and climatic change is causing the rise in the number of swine flu cases. Dr Sawant added that this spread of the disease is early. Usually, the occurrences are found in May or June. This year, because of the extended winter and the climatic changes is causing the infection to rise. However, he claimed that the increase in the number of cases is also due to people going out of the state / country and coming back with the infection.
Dr Sawant claimed that India ranks 5th in the world with the number of swine flu cases. He added that the only good news is that there is no change in the form or mutation in the swine flu virus. Had there been mutation or change, the virus would have developed a resistance to the medications.
To another question about the shortage of drugs and vaccinations, Dr Sawant claimed that there is no shortage of medications anywhere in the entire state. However, the medications are rationed and remitted by order only, since they want to prevent black-marketing.
To another question on the charges or examinations and treatment, and how Delhi Government has decided to put a cap on the charges between Rs 4000 to Rs 45000/-, Dr Sawant claimed that he had called the Doctors, Medical practitioners and people who are involved in clinical pathological investigations of the city to charge between Rs 2500/- to Rs 3000/-.
While answering a question on who are most susceptible or at high risk to swine flu the most, Dr Sawant claimed that based on the cases so far, patients with prior lung-infections, Diabetes, Cancer, Pregnant women and children below 5 years are at the most high-risk susceptible to get the disease.
While answering a question on lack of infrastructural facilities in many hospitals, Dr Sawant said that no patient has been denied ventilator facilities in any hospital. He claimed that Maharashtra Government had given two ventilators to almost all districts so that they can cater to the needs of the patients.
The 40% deaths in Vidarbha region alone, is due to an extended winter. He added that the infection has come from outside.
Dr Sawant claimed that there is no need to panic. The Central Government and the State government has taken into cognizance the seriousness of the issue and are taking measures to prevent the disease from becoming an epidemic. The situation is under control. He claimed that one of the guidelines is that if any patient has fever of high fever for two days continuously, the patient should be tested for swine flu.
While answering to a query on shortage of vaccinations, Dr Sawant claimed that there is a meeting going on in Delhi with suppliers from 4 foreign countries. Once the agreements are signed, we’ll have the vaccines in the next 3-4 days.
He added that after the disease reduces in the number and intensity, we’ll be organizing a vaccination drive for all health workers.
While answering to another question about the machine for testing and the huge work-load, Dr Sawant claimed that ideally a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction machine can handle only 13-14 cases per day. The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) has already got the funds and they will be procuring the machine in the next 2-4 days.
A Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction is a laboratory technique of molecular biology based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is used to amplify and simultaneously detect or quantify a targeted DNA molecule. The procedure follows the general principle of polymerase chain reaction; its key feature is that the amplified DNA is detected as the reaction progresses in “real time”. This is a new approach compared to standard PCR, where the product of the reaction is detected at its end.