6 more IPS trainees test positive for swine flu.


HYDERABAD: The Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) here turned into a mini-hospital on Friday with scared IPS trainees and staff rushing to get swine flu vaccines after six probationers and a child tested positive for the H1N1 virus that has already left 49 dead in Telangana since January 1.

Earlier, two IPS trainees tested positive for the virus.

Authorities flew in a H1N1 expert from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and distributed masks along with anti-viral and homeopathic medicines to more than 1,000 people at the prestigious academy.

Sources said the campus, where IPS probationers are trained, wore a scared look with 71 of the 168 trainees taking preventive vaccines and tablets.

“From an attendant to an officer, everyone is wearing a mask. The officers seemed clearly worried as they rushed for anti-viral tablets when it was being distributed today,” said a health department official.

The sources said that on both Thursday and Friday, there was a mad scramble for Oseltamivir drugs after state health authorities deputed a team of officials to distribute it among those IPS trainees who exhibited flu-like symptoms.

While health experts say deaths would come down in the coming months, the outbreak at the SVPNPA campus in Shivrampally has raised fresh fears of the virus spreading.

Additionally, 20 more IPS trainees have been kept in isolation and their health is being monitored round-the-clock by doctors, officials said.

Although training is going on, many trainees have opted out and confined themselves to their rooms.

After the incident, 1,000 people in the academy have been administered with the vaccine. “Even the contract workers who are willing have been administered with the vaccine,” SVPNPA joint director Umesh Sharaf said. Those who are not willing to take the vaccine are taking homeopathy medicine as a preventive measure, he said.

The IPS trainees had gone to Tirupati during the recent assembly bypoll on February 13 as part of their training. They spent two days at Tirupati on field duty and returned to the city five days ago.

“Since the time the first swine flu case was reported in the city, we have been taking preventive measures,” Umesh Sharaf said.

-Times of India

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