GANGTOK, 21 AUG: Sikkim is breathing easy. All three Swine Flu suspected samples reported from Sikkim so far have tested negative.
Last week, three throat swabs were collected from two women patients and one male on Swine Flu suspicion at Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital (STNM).
The samples were sent to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, and yesterday evening those were declared negative. The suspected patients had come to Sikkim from areas with H1N1 outbreaks.
According to Dr Namgyal T Sherpa, team leader, state H1N1 monitoring task force, with the samples testing negative, the number of hospitalized and confirmed cases in Sikkim is nil. It may be mentioned here that the state health department had last week formed an H1N1 monitoring task force to check any H1N1 case in Sikkim. A five-bed isolation ward was set up at the STNM hospital, while similar wards were also set up in the district hospitals across the state.
Owing to space constraint, the Central Referral Hospital of the Manipal group at Tadong near here has also been roped in to accommodate 20 Swine Flu patients if necessary.It is informed that a regional team from the NICED, which was in the state on 19 August expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by the state health department for H1N1 containment.
The team had visited the Singtam district hospital, STNM and the CRH Manipal Hospital to evaluate the preparations to deal with Swine Flu cases