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Swine flu claims 800 lives across India, Ahmedabad prohibits mass gatherings

Feb 25, 2015 09:35 AM IST India India

Ahmedabad: Swine Flu panic is spreading fast with the death toll crossing 800 in the country. The Ahmedabad district collector has invoked the Criminal Procedure Code's Section 144 on Tuesday, prohibiting mass gatherings without prior permission in order to prevent swine flu, an official statement stated.

"It has come to our notice that swine flu cases have been on the rise in Gujarat including Ahmedabad. The virus, which causes swine flu, is contagious and generally infects people by entering through nostrils and mouth mostly at crowded places," the Ahmedabad district collectorate statement said.

The move has come after Gujarat registered more than 230 swine flu deaths, which include more than 50 fatalities in Ahmedabad, since January this year.

The number of positive cases swine flu recorded in Gujarat is 3,527 and the disease has caused the highest number of deaths in Gujarat compared to other states in the country.

However, the Collector has exempted people gathering at marriages and death processions from Section 144.

If public events cannot be called off or postponed, organisers would have to take prior permission also have to ensure that proper care is being taken to stop the spread of swine flu, like providing masks to all people as well as dispose off these masks after their use, the statement said.

It added that organizers of such events should display big billboards with swine flu prevention measures like washing of hands with soap at regular intervals.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda has made a statement in both houses of the Parliament. He assured the House that the Centre is giving all support to states in tackling swine flu. Nadda also denied reports of shortage of tamiflu, the medicine for the flu.

Meanwhile 12 fresh deaths in Gujarat have taken the toll in the state to 219. The state's junior health minister is among those who have been tested positive.

In Kashmir 150 have been tested positive so far with 8 deaths reported in the state.

In Punjab 33 deaths have been reported. While in Telagana 47 new cases were reported.