Swine Flu Raises Havoc in Southern Hemisphere

As the three-month-old outbreak of swine flu raises havoc during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere, officials in the United States are carefully seeking clues from there to deal with its likely return in this country in the fall, before a vaccine can protect large numbers of people , New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government on Monday held a meeting with 19 private hospitals in the city to examine whether swine flu screening and treatment could extend beyond government hospitals.

They have been asked to respond by 5 p.m. Tuesday, stating if they have the facilities or can make arrangements for treatment, Chief Secretary Johny Joseph told journalists.

Once the hospitals got back, municipal and public health officials would visit them to check whether they met the Centre’s guidelines for setting up such facilities. Only one hospital had replied so far. Eight private hospitals in Pune had also shown their readiness to treat patients, he said , Hindu reports.

“Communication through letters is not showing gravity. We need to work a little harder. We are sending 33 to 35 joint secretaries and additional secretaries of different ministries to states for the purpose,” Azad said ,Thaindian.com reports.

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