Swine flu has claimed 48 lives in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh since January 1 and the number of cases was growing prompting authorities to sound a high alert to check its sudden spurt, officials said on Friday.
Punjab and Haryana accounted for 23 deaths each, while the two other deaths occurred in Chandigarh Union Territory.
"In view of rising number of cases, what additional steps need to be taken and what guidelines need to be followed were discussed at a high-level meeting today. Though there has been a sudden spurt in cases this year, we are on alert and prepared to deal with the situation," Punjab Health and Family Welfare Director Ashok Nayar said.
He said the situation was reviewed at a meeting of senior health officials in which faculty of community medicine, microbiology and general medicine of three government colleges of Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot and private medical colleges including CMC and DMC hospitals of Ludhiana took part.
Punjab's Nodal Officer for swine flu cases, Deepak Bhatia said that from January 1 till Friday, the state had recorded 23 deaths, including five patients who came from outside the state.
"We have so far had 87 positive H1N1 cases," he said.
Neighbouring Haryana, too, was on high alert in view of the rising number of H1N1 cases.
According to official sources, from January 1 till date, Haryana too has seen 23 deaths due to swine flu while total number of positive cases so far stood at 94.
Chandigarh's Nodal Officer for swine flu cases, Naresh Kumar said the Union Territory had so far had two deaths while number of positive cases was 25.
Karnal, Hisar, Fatehabad, Panchkula and Sirsa are the worst affected districts in Haryana, where maximum cases of swine flu have been reported, they said.
Officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Health Departments said effective measures have been taken to check the spread of H1N1 virus.
"Separate swine flu OPDs have been started in all the government districts hospitals," a Haryana Health Department spokesman said.