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Swine flu scare: Rajasthan Congress, BJP engage in blame game in House

Kalicharan Saraf and Raghu Sharma, Former and Present health ministers resort to war of words and accuse each other of being non-serious in dealing with the menace

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Swine flu scare: Rajasthan Congress, BJP engage in blame game in House
Raghu Sharma, Kalicharan Saraf
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    The issue of swine flu rocked the Rajasthan Assembly on Monday when the House witnessed blame game between health minister Raghu Sharma and former health minister Kalicharan Saraf who accused each other of being lackadaisical in curbing the epidemic in state.

    Saraf accused Sharma of even hiding figures of patients, however, the latter refuted the allegations while claiming that the department is continuously monitoring the situation and has even launched three-day drive on Monday across the state to screen people of the virus.

    Saraf, who raised the issue in the Zero Hour, said that Rajasthan is worst affected by the disease. But the state health department is not serious to control it and chief minister Ashok Gehlot just reviewed it in a meeting, doing formality, he said.

    “The department is not serious at all, even it is hiding figures related to the swine flu cases. There were directives that leaves of doctors would be refused to control the situation but as per a news report 30 doctors were on leave recently, of them many were attending marriages. The CM had issued order to set up isolation wards for swine flu patients. Did the department set up the wards at the PHC (Primary Health Care) centers?,” Saraf asked. He added that no proper screening is under process to scan flu patients while even the required ICUs have not been set up for critical patients.

    Sharma, while rejecting Saraf’s allegations informed the House about the measures taken by his department to control the menace. “It is a seasonal disease that happens every year. We are conducting monitoring of the flu on a daily basis. When the CM convened a review meeting on flu on December 24, two teams were immediately dispatched to Jodhpur. The task force constituted by the department is also holding meetings regularly and Tamiflu medicine are available at the PHCs,” said Sharma. He blamed the previous government for being negligent in dealing with the scare as one BJP MLA died of flu and even the BJP national president has caught swine flu.

    Sharma informed the House that 34 in 2014, 472 in 2015 were the deaths reported due to swine flu.

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