Union Health Minister J P Nadda today directed the states to monitor the seasonal influenza cases, with a focus on creating awareness and ensuring the availability of medicines and vaccines at the field level. Holding a review meeting on the preparedness for the prevention and management of seasonal influenza (H1N1), Nadda directed the officials concerned to ensure a continuous monitoring and vigil of all the swine flu cases. "Early detection, reporting and proper categorisation of patients are critical for swine flu management," he said. The minister also instructed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the cases on a daily basis and said the states should ensure that a proper awareness was created about the disease, with a focus on the interior and rural areas. "All states shall also ensure that an adequate supply of the Oseltamivir medicine is maintained.
The medicine features under schedule 'H1' of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and hence, the states shall ensure its wider availability with the private pharmacies as well," he said. Nadda further directed that necessary action be initiated to increase the number of swine flu testing facilities both in the government and private sector and asked the NCDC to provide the required support to the states in this regard. The minister said all the cases, which required hospitalisation, should be monitored both at the district and state level, so as to ensure that fatalities were avoided. The availability of an adequate number of functional ventilators for critical case management was important and the states would be advised accordingly, he added. The NCDC should coordinate with the states for providing ventilator support training, if need be, Nadda said. At the meeting, it was highlighted that advisories were already issued to the states and that the situation was being monitored by the ministry on a weekly basis. The health ministry had undertaken adequate measures to augment the capacity of the healthcare facilities to manage H1N1 cases and strengthened its testing facilities further, it was told at the meeting. The ministry had also ensured the availability of PPE kits and N-95 masks for the health workers dealing with the cases, Nadda said. It was observed that a sufficient stock of Oseltamivir tablets for an early treatment of influenza (H1N1) cases was available. The states were also asked to ensure that an adequate number of beds were earmarked in the government and private health facilities for swine flu management.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)