Two government hospitals in Delhi – Safdarjung Hospital and LNJP Hospital – have reported 16 swine flu deaths this year, top officials said Thursday, contradicting the figure of one death in each hospital given by the union health ministry.
However, the health ministry clarified that its figures on swine flu deaths in Delhi were based on official reports. “The ministry has released the data on the basis of IDSP (Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme) report. This report gives figures of a particular state, and hence the union health ministry released the given figure,” a health ministry official told IANS.
According to Rajpal, medical superintendent of Safdurjung Hospital, “there have been a total of 11 deaths in our hospital this year”. “Of these, seven victims were among the 29 cases referred to our hospital. Three other deaths were of patients who directly came to us,” Rajpal told IANS.
Asked why the health ministry figures showed one swine flu death in Safdarjung, Rajpal said: “All the deaths were reported to the DHS (Directorate of Health Services) but I don’t know why were they not made public.” He said all the patients suffering from swine flu in the hospital were in severe condition and brought for treatment during the late stage of the disease.
The Safdarjung Hospital comes under the union health ministry. Similarly, the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, controlled by the Delhi government, has seen five swine flu deaths, its medical superintendent Ramji told IANS.
“Five deaths were reported in the hospital in the first two months of this year. We reported all the deaths to DHS,” Ramji told IANS. “All the samples of the patients were tested and confirmed at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as swine flu deaths,” he said.
According to the health ministry, Delhi has reported 3,220 swine flu cases and 10 deaths. But data given out by DHS show that only one death each occurred in the Safdarjung Hospital and the LNJP Hospital. When reached by IANS, a senior health ministry official said he would have the statistics of swine flu deaths checked and revert.
The DHS identified the sole victim of swine flu at Safdarjung Hospital as a 50-year-old woman from Chattarpur in south Delhi who died on January 22.
Due to the high media coverage on the increasing swine flu cases and deaths, the DHS has changed two of its nodal officers — Charan Singh and R.N. Das. Safdarjung Hospital now has a separate 50-bed ward for swine flu patients that currently has 30 patients — 28 adults and two children. (IANS Exclusive)