Nine swine flu deaths in India, toll 286

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 15:20 hrs

Nine swine flu deaths in the country Friday, including five from Maharashtra, took the toll due to influenza A (H1N1) in India to 286, health authorities said.

Other than Maharashtra, two deaths were reported from Surat (Gujarat), one from Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) and another from Mysore (Karnataka).

With the latest casualties, the toll in Maharashtra has jumped to 117, highest so far in the country.

The Karnataka toll has risen to 86, Gujarat has 28 fatalities and Tamil Nadu has reported four deaths.

At least 305 fresh cases were reported Friday that took the total number of people infected with the virus in the country to 9,284.

Of the fresh cases, Delhi tops the chart with 154 cases followed by Maharashtra (39) and Andhra Pradesh (32).

Meanwhile, Goa's education department has directed a school in Panaji to close down for a week after two students tested positive for swine flu and three others were suspected of being infected with the virus.

Speaking to IANS, Goa's Director of Education Celsa Pinto said that People's High School, located in the heart of the capital Panaji, has been shut.

'It is a precautionary measure. There is no need for panic. We have been asked by the directorate of health services to close the school for seven days. Both the infected students are from Class 5,' she said.

In Himachal Pradesh, swine flu has taken its toll on India's 'toughest' mountain terrain biking event, Hercules MTB Himachal, as a majority of foreign participants cancelled their entries for the expedition.

'Almost 50 percent of the participants from European countries have cancelled their entries. Most of them cited swine flu as the only reason for not participating in the expedition this time,' Mohit Sood, president of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), told IANS.

Though the national capital continues to report a huge number of cases (2,336 so far), state Health Minister Kiran Walia said: 'The situation is under control and the government is doing its best to provide treatment to H1N1 patients. I advise people to visit the doctor at the earliest if there is any symptoms of swine flu.'

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