Fri, 24 Mar 2023

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 17 (ANI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday chaired a review meeting of the Health department at Mumbai's Vidhan Bhavan to take stock of the state's preparedness amid reports of Covid-19 and Influenza H3N2 cases.

The meeting focussed on measures to prevent the spread of these viruses while also enabling the state's health infrastructure to be geared up for the challenge.

According to sources, an action plan to prevent the spread of these viral ailments was presented before the chief minister and his deputy at the meeting.

CM Shinde directed health officials to hold public awareness campaigns to make people aware of these viruses and ensure that they abide by the necessary safety protocols.

"Influenza is caused by a virus. Early diagnosis helps in the treatment of this disease. Therefore, if symptoms develop, a patient should look to start timely treatment," the CM said.

Deputy Chief Minister Fadnavis, Health Minister Dr Tanaji Sawant, Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan and other officials were also present at the press briefing after the meeting.

The chief minister said patients down with this viral infection should not delay treatment and hospitals should keep enough beds ready while also ensuring that medicines are not in short supply.

"Along with these measures, the help of private hospitals should also be taken so that there are no obstacles to the treatment of the affected people in the light of the protests by government employees (demanding restoration of the Old Pension Scheme). If needed, doctors and healthcare staff from private hospitals should be roped in for the treatment of patients," the CM added.

Fadnavis, meanwhile, suggested raising public awareness about the common symptoms of Covid-19 and H3N2 influenza and the precautionary measures to avoid infection.

Instructions were also given to the health department to provide all facilities to patients admitted at hospitals at the earliest while ensuring that the services are prompt and up-to-date.

According to data put out by the state Health department, a total of 119 cases of H3N2 and 324 cases of H1N1 were reported in Maharashtra between January 1 and March 15.

"Three deaths are reported from H1N1 infection whereas one was caused by the H3N2 virus," the MHD stated in a release.

Earlier, on March 16, a 73-year-old man with comorbidities, who had tested positive for the H3N2 virus, died at a hospital in Pune's Pimpri-Chinchwad.

According to Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the deceased had comorbidities -- a condition in which a person is afflicted by more than one disease at the same time.

Amid a rise in H3N2 influenza virus cases in Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) earlier said 32 patients were admitted in Mumbai of whom 4 have been diagnosed with H3N2 and the remaining 28 with H1N1.hronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and atrial fibrillation (heart disease).

"All of the patients are currently in a stable condition," the BMC said in a statement.

Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by 4 distinct types -- Influenza A, B, C and D belonging to the Orthomyxoviridae family.

Among these types, Influenza A is the most common pathogen for humans.

Globally, influenza cases are typically seen to increase during certain months of the year. India usually witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March and another one in the post-monsoon season.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end. (ANI)

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