11 June : As more swine flu cases were reported in the world, including India, the World Health Organisation on Thursday declared the disease as a pandemic, raising its alert to maximum ‘level six’.
In India, two more persons in Delhi and one in Goa tested positive for swine flu, taking the total number of such cases to 15.In the capital, a 41-year-old woman, who travelled from Haiti, was the latest case of swine flu and has been admitted to the designated Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
A 25-year-old woman, travelling from New York to Delhi, who reported fever and cough on 9th June 2009, has also tested positive.The father of the 17-year-old student from Boston, who had also shown symptoms of the disease on Wednesday, has tested negative for the virus, a senior health ministry official said.
The other positive case was a male passenger who had come from London via Germany in Goa. He has been quarantined at PHC Chicalim, a few kilometres away from the Goa airport.
A total of 74 countries are now affected by the virus.Swedish Health Minister Maria Larsson was to hold a press conference following "the WHO’s decision to raise the pandemic level to six for the influenza A(H1N1)," the Swedish government said in a statement.
The WHO was holding a meeting at its headquarters in Geneva amid growing evidence of the virus, which originated in Mexico two months ago and is now being widely transmitted between humans in Asia and Europe as well as the Americas.
Under WHO guidelines, one key criteria for declaring a pandemic would be established community spread in a country outside the first region in which the disease was initially reported.
The Geneva-based UN body last declared a flu pandemic 40 years ago.On Wednesday, the number of A(H1N1) infections reported to the health agency by the 74 countries had reached 27,737, including 141 deaths.
All fatal cases have been in the Americas and the Caribbean. The vast majority of deaths have been in Mexico where 108 people are known to have been killed by the virus. More than 6,133 have been infected there.
Meanwhile, a 21-year-old girl, who was isolated on Thursday morning for suspected Swine flu after she arrived at Panaji from Sharjah, was discharged from the Goa Medical College and Hospital.
"Her throat swab samples have been taken and sent for test at NIV, Pune. She has been asked to remain in isolation at house and not to mingle with the crowd till the reports of her tests are available," Director of Goa health services Dr Rajnanda Desai told a press conference at Panaji on Thursday.(