There has been an 82 per cent decline in swine flu cases this year, as compared to last year. According to data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) health department, 42 swine flu cases had been reported until May, compared to 230 reported in the same period in 2019. Health officials said, since currently the focus was on coronavirus, not many swine flu cases were being reported and this may be the reason for the decline in numbers.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani noting that there were fewer swine flu cases this year compared to last year, said, “Amidst the lockdown not many swine flu cases were reported across the city. But monsoon is yet to start, so we expect the number of cases to increase in the coming days. People must take extra precautions to avoid getting sick,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BMC claims that the reason for the decline in cases is because of the lockdown. Health experts have attributed the drop to the fact that not enough cases are being reported. “For now, everyone is focusing on the pandemic outbreak, due to which numbers are not being updated. We continue to get four to five patients suffering from H1N1 daily,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, infectious diseases expert.
Senior officials from the state government’s technical advisory committee on the pandemic said they would also have to plan for dengue, malaria and swine flu cases, which go up between June and October.
“Cases of Covid-19 are expected to go up with the large movement of people. There are already severe acute respiratory infection cases being reported. We have to consider other seasonal viruses like H1N1 and vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria in the monsoon,” said an official.
“Public health services are being put to the test. There have been discussions on bed strength, search and surveillance and implementation of routine health programmes,” the official added.