SHAFAQNA – Swine flu (H1N1) has claimed 12 more lives in India’s Gujarat, raising the death toll in the country to 485 since the beginning of this year.
The death toll in Gujarat has reached 136 since January while the number of reported cases has touched 1,522, a government statement said on Sunday as the western Indian state administration held an emergency meeting to review the situation.
According to Indian authorities, the number of reported cases across the country during the same period has been as high as 6,298.
As the death toll from swine flu increases across the country, India’s health ministry on Saturday held its first H1N1 briefing in 2015. Additional Secretary A K Panda said there is no reason for panic and there are enough medicines in stock.
Panda said there were usually more H1N1 cases in winter and he expected the number to drop during the coming weeks.
“The incidence (of swine flu) and deaths happen during this time of the year… It is inversely proportional to the ambient temperature. Once the temperature shoots up, the incidence comes down. There is no explanation and reason behind this spurt,” he said.
According to the official, the number of reported swine flu cases in 2014 was 937 while the death toll stood at 218. In 2013, 5,253 new cases were reported and the disease claimed 699 lives, up from 5,044 cases and 405 deaths during 2012.
On the same day, the Women’s College of Aligarh Muslim University in Gujarat was shut down for five days after a student infected with H1N1 died en route to hospital.
The government has announced that it would launch a helpline for obtaining information about the disease.