Gujarat has not reported any casualty due to the seasonal influenza subtype H3N2 so far and the health administration is fully prepared and equipped to handle any situation that arises in the future, the state government told the legislative Assembly on Friday.
Under Rule 116 of the Assembly, which deals with matters of “urgent public importance”, Congress MLA Arjun Modhwadia and three BJP legislators sought the state government’s response about H3N2 influenza and steps being taken to contain the spread.
State Health Minister Rushikesh Patel in his reply said no one has died due to the new variant in Gujarat so far.
Referring to a 55-year-old woman who died due to flu-like symptoms in Vadodara earlier this week, Patel said she was a “comorbid” patient, who was suffering from two or more ailments.
“No one has died due to H3N2. The woman who died in Vadodara was comorbid and her treatment started a little late. She could have been saved if her treatment had started sooner. There is no need to compare H3N2 with coronavirus. The treatment of this viral infection has been available in the country and in Gujarat since many years,” Patel said.
As per the ‘Gujarat Epidemic Response Management System Portal’, the state has reported 80 cases of H1N1 and two cases of H3N2 seasonal flu between January 1 and March 13, the minister said.
Oseltamivir, the drug recommended by the WHO for the treatment of H3N2, is available at all government-run hospitals and health centres, he said.
“Moreover, we have a huge stock of 2.74 lakh tablets of Oseltamivir in our warehouses at present. There is no need to panic. We have made preparations to tackle this infection from village to city level. Infected patients are given medicines at our hospitals free of cost,” Patel said.
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