RAIPUR: Seven persons including a joint director of the health department have died of swine flu in Chhattisgarh since the beginning of this year, the government informed the Legislative Assembly Friday.
Health Minister T S Singhdeo said joint director of health department Mahendra Janghel was among those who died of H1N1 infection.
The issue was raised by Congress' Kunwar Singh Nishad and BJP MLAs Shivratan Sharma and Ajay Chandrakar.
The MLAs claimed that at least 10 people had died of swine flu in the state in the recent weeks but no concrete action has been taken to prevent its spread and patients are being forced to go to private hospitals.
Singhdeo said huge stocks of medicines have been made available.
Medicines as well as diagnosis facilities are being provided free in government hospitals, he said.
District surveillance teams have been formed to keep a tab on new infections, he said.
Swine flu testing facilities are available at Medical College Raipur, Microbiology Department of Jagdalpur Medical College and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Raipur.
Besides, three private pathology labs have been certified for carrying out H1N1 virus tests, he added.
Chandrakar asked whether swine flu vaccination will be administered to common people, just as it is being provided to health department workers dealing with swine flu cases.
The minister said as of now doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who are at a high risk of infection will be covered under the immunisation program.