State Receives fresh stock of over one lakh tablets for swine flu

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state has received over one lakh tablets of Oseltamivir, the swine flu drug, from the Centre’s pool. This would help bring an end to the crisis faced by the state health department due to shortage of the drug.

“We have received the drugs in two batches and will distribute it to major hospitals in each district,” said Dr Amar Fettle, state nodal officer for swine flu. Since the government of India decided to regulate the supply of Oseltamivir, the state health department had decided to go for state-level purchase of the drug through the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL).

“Nevertheless, we had applied to the Central government for an emergency stock, following which they sent us these batches for meeting the immediate requirement,” said Dr Fettle. Kerala’s existing stock will expire by the end of July. Hence the state had sought an emergency stock from the Centre to continue uninterrupted supply of the drug to government hospitals.

Though the state was badly hit by swine flu in the previous years, the situation is under control at present. This year 21 cases of swine flu and four deaths have been reported in the state so far.

“Many instances of suspected swine flu have been reported, but the number of positive cases are coming down in Kerala. In spite of the decline in cases and the shortage of the drug with the government, we have decided to stock the drug. This is why we decided to go for purchase via KMSCL,” Dr Fettle said.

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