The number of swine flu cases in Delhi continued to rise with 1,669 positive cases and seven deaths being reported till February 10, government figures released on Wednesday showed.
However, as per reports provided by the Centrally run hospitals in the national capital, deaths caused by swine flu were more in number than the data provided by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
While 10 deaths have been reported at Safdarjung Hospital apart from 72 confirmed cases of swine flu, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital also reported 10 deaths and 38 confirmed cases. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital registered nine deaths along with 107 OPD cases and 96 IPD cases.
However, when approached by IANS, officials of both the NCDC and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) refused to give any clarification on the varying figures.
Overall, the number of deaths caused by swine flu in India has reached 312 in 2019 with the majority of the cases being reported from states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab. A total of 9,367 positive cases have been reported so far this year.
Gujarat has registered 55 deaths and 1,431 positive cases, while 30 deaths and 335 positive cases have been confirmed in Punjab.
To tackle the situation, the Health Ministry has deputed a Public Health Team to Rajasthan. Additional teams have been ordered to reach Gujarat and Punjab.
The Centre has so far supplied logistics (drugs, PPE kits, N-95 face masks) to Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Punjab.
According to the doctors, there won't be any immediate respite from swine flu as the temperature this year has remained low in addition to the occasional rain and hailstorms.
"The influenza virus H1N1, which is the primary cause of swine flu, spreads easily during winter and this year the temperature has remained low in the northern states. H1N1 is a seasonal virus which survives in certain temperatures," Naval Vikram, a doctor with the Medicine Department at AIIMS, told IANS.
Sanjeev Sinha, his colleague at AIIMS, said that adults and geriatric patients, who are already diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney or liver diseases, are more prone to catching the infection.
"Children also face high risk, as they are more exposed to the virus in places like schools and public places," he added.
The symptoms of swine flu are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms may include body ache, headache, fatigue, chills, diarrhea and vomiting and blood-tinged sputum.