A superintendent of police in his mid-forties died at the Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences (ASCOMS) Jammu of respiratory disorder while doctors are awaiting the medical report to ascertain whether the death was due to swine flu.
According to sources, the deceased IPS officer identified as Sunil Gupta was SP (administration) at the Zonal Police headquarters, Jammu and was admitted in the hospital with symptoms of swine flu.
His blood sample was sent to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, for investigations on Monday.
They further added that Gupta was put on life support ventilator and died early this morning due to respiratory disorder.
"The patient was admitted in our hospital in a critical condition as he suffered from respiratory disorder," Dr Tirath Singh, Assistant Medical Superintendent ASCOMS told Greater Kashmir.
When asked if it was a case of swine flu he said; "We are waiting for the medical report and the reason of death can be ascertained only after it comes."
He also informed that before being shifted to ASCOMS, Gupta was under treatment at the police hospital, Jammu.
"The case history was just five days old and he died because of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)," he added.
"We can confirm whether the death is related to swine flu only after the culture report of the patient is received," Dr Singh said.
According to medicos, many patients with respiratory problems are reporting at various Jammu hospitals but their samples are not being sent for testing due to lack of infrastructure.
"With H1N1 testing lab in Delhi, many cases of suspected swine flu are not detected," said a doctor who not wished to be named.
He further added that it's not possible for all district and small hospitals to send blood sample of every suspected patient for testing to Delhi.
Meanwhile, in the wake of rising number of flu cases and suspected deaths, the doctors of the Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH) and Director Health Jammu met on Thursday to draw up a contingency plan to deal with any emergency.
When contacted Dr Ravinder Rattan Pal, Medical Superintendent GMC, Jammu said so far three suspected cases have been tested negative, while as many as seven new suspected cases of swine flu were reported in the city during past 24 hours.
He said the test reports of 11 previous cases are still awaited from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi.
He added that the samples sent to NCDC include those of the relatives and people who came in contact with the suspected swine flu patients.
However, he said no suspected Swine Flu patient is presently admitted at the hospital.
"Health department has already sounded an alert and issued an advisory to all the government hospitals to take preventive measures to prevent the spread of the disease and make proper arrangements for treatment of patients, said Dr Ghansham, Principal GMC&H.
"At GMC Isolation ward has been established at Chopra Nursing Home of the Hospital besides arrangements have been made for treatment at district hospitals", he added.
Dr Ghansham also claimed that abundant stocks of Tamiflu tablets are available in the hospital to treat infected patients, if any.
Pertinently, in Kashmir valley two patients infected with H1N1 virus have died, while other 70 persons, tested positive, are undergoing treatment.