H1N1 Claims 57 Lives In Kerala: Man-Made Disaster?
The number of deaths due to swine flu has shot up in Kerala because of the unpreparedness of city's medical centers to handle patients infected with the H1N1 virus.
Swine flu has wreaked havoc in the western coast of India
The rise of swine flu virus at an alarming rate in the country has sent tremors to all the medical centers and local organisational bodies in Kerala. The rising number of death cases due to the unpreparedness of the authorities concerned, has brought the poor healthcare facilities as well as unhygienic environment of the city into focus. Till 28th June, the virus had claimed 57 lives.
According to the medical report on 4th July, five people died of high fever on Sunday raising the death toll even higher in the city. A seven year old boy form from Kozhikhode and another from Thiruvananthpuram were reported dead in the morning hours of Sunday jolting the municipal authorities to take immediate action against the alarming rise of the influenza. According to a report submitted by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), there was a sudden rise of dengue and H1N1 cases in the hospital in the early hours of Monday Morning. Out of 678 patients admitted in the hospital, 227 were of cases of Dengue and 9 were of H1N1.
Responding to the uncontrolled rise of the virus in different parts of the state, the local bodies and the police had pushed further the cleanliness drive to prevent the spreading of dengue and H1N1 virus any further.
Today, the scenario has turned for the worse.
While 773 possible cases of dengue have been identified, 190 definite cases have be registered. The highest reported cases are in Thiruvananthapuram, followed by Kollam and Kozhikode. A total of 10,002 cases of dengue have been reported so far in the year with a possible and massive 102 deaths due to dengue. Cases of high viral fever has also left the masses worried. 7 deaths were reported in the state, with 2 of them being in Malappuram. A doctor also died in this district after succumbing to the infection at a private hospital. He was serving at another in Chelari district. More than 37,000 patients have sought treatment in Kerala for dengue and fever so far.
Elevating death toll
The corridors of hospitals in Kerala have been bustling with swine-flu patients and around 886 cases were recorded by 28th June. The overwhelming inflow of patients have set the hospital committee into major disorder due to unavailability of beds, medication and specialized physicians. While parasitic infections were already on rise in the past few days, the drastic escalation in H1N1 cases has made the situation even worse. There are many patients who had to queue up for long hours to get themselves treated and while others had to satisfy themselves with insufficient attention from the physicians and Doctors.
The sluggish response of local bodies and apathetic attitude of employees of the government hospitals has severely affected people who were infected with the H1N1 virus. The delayed response from the local authorities has made the patients slog for endless number of hours only to get inadequate medical treatment. This can be considered as the major reason for the rise in number of deaths in the city, particularly in Thiruvanathpuram, reports health officials.
Major reasons behind the sudden rise in the number of swine flu cases in the city were attributed to climatic conditions, virus' attacking patterns and untimely response from the government. While the climatic conditions and virus' defense mechanism cannot be controlled, the government could definitely have taken preventive measures on time to reduce the impact of rising influenza in the city.
Camouflaging their shortfalls and finding ways to curb the problem at the earliest, the authorities have appealed to the doctors in Private hospitals to help doctors in Public Hospitals. Apart from this, the local bodies had initiated cleanliness drives on June 27, 28 and 29 to spread the awareness on sanitation and hygiene in different parts of the city. The non-governmental bodies on the other hand have demanded an urgent revamping of the healthcare facilities in the government hospitals to save people from swine flu as early as possible.