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Govt says 28 died of H1N1, 31 says SKIMS

Srinagar, Feb 05: The J&K government and SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura on Monday gave out contradictory statements regarding the number of deaths due to swine flu in Kashmir this season so far.
While the health Minister Bali Bhagat quoted 28 deaths due to the viral disease, SKIMS’ official statement puts the death toll at 31.
Replying to a question in the Assembly, Bhagat on Monday said that out of 137 cases of swine flu registered at SKIMS last year, 28 patients have died, 107 were discharged and two are currently admitted in the hospital for treatment.
But, SKIMS puts the number of registered H1N1 patients at 149 of which 115 were discharged and three are currently admitted in the hospital.
Responding to a Calling Attention Notice by MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar, Bhagat said that a full-fledged H1N1 testing laboratory along with separate ward has been constructed at the cost of Rs 9.88 crores at Chest Diseases Hospital Srinagar which has been made functional.
He said besides, Swine Flu testing lab in the department of Microbiology in GMC Jammu has also been dedicated for H1 N1 testing. He said testing facility is also available at Microbiology Department of Govt Medical College Srinagar since 2016.
The Health Minister further stated that as a preventive measure, isolation wards have been established in the Government Medical College, Jammu and Srinagar and have been equipped with central oxygen, air suction supply and ventilator.
He said separate trained staff is also deployed round the clock and that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are provided to all the healthcare workers who are at the risk of exposure.
He further informed that the services of Electronic/Print media are used to issue advisory and create awareness among the general public about the disease.
He said that every effort is being made by the Government to provide requisite facilities to deal with the swine flu.