The Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued directions to the state government, to submit details on efforts undertaken by the latter, to tackle the impending threat of swine flu, as winter sets in. The court also asked the state government to work with private hospitals and diagnostic centres, to tackle the issue.
The orders came after a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy, heard two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) which alleged that inadequate medical infrastructure in government hospitals was leading to the spread of vector-borne diseases in Telangana.
The PILs, filed by medical practitioner Dr M Karuna and advocate Rapolu Bhaskar, pointed out that only two government hospitals in Hyderabad had the facility to diagnose swine flu, and none of the diagnostic labs situated in the headquarters of the districts, had the necessary equipment to do so.
Responding to earlier orders by the court, Advocate General BS Prasad had said that sufficient stocks of medicines were kept at all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state and added that pamphlets and posters were also distributed to spread awareness about the symptoms and treatment of swine flu.
Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, Dr G Srinivas Rao had also filed an affidavit in court, where he said that they had sought permission from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to set up 10 diagnostic labs in Telangana, but were yet to receive permission.
Asking the state government to sensitise all District Medical Health Officers (DMHOs) on swine flu and issuing orders to rope in private hospitals and diagnostic centres to help with diagnosis, the court posted the matter to January 3.
Swine flu or H1N1 is caused by a strain of influenza A virus. Symptoms of the flu include persistent fever, cough, sore throat, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Last year, the state of Telangana witnessed over 300 cases of swine flu.
In August last year, the state government drew severe flak for failing to control the spread of dengue, as it resulted in the death of several people.