India’s Health Ministry said Monday 1,115 of the 20,795 people infected with swine flu in 2015 have died. Officials said the virus usually increases during a monsoon, but they could not say whether the recent heavy rainfall in Delhi and other parts of the country's north would have any impact on the current H1N1 virus pandemic, the Times of India reported. They have, however, said they were not expecting a decrease in the incidence of the virus due to the rain.
The state of Gujarat has the highest death toll, with 275 dead from the disease, the Times of India said. That is followed by Rajasthan with 267 deaths and Madhya Pradesh with 160 deaths. Rajasthan has the highest number of confirmed cases, with 5,610, followed by Gujarat with 4,614 cases and Delhi with 2,999 cases.
Maharashtra state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced his state will treat all swine flu patients free of charge, the Times of India reported. "I have issued instructions to the public health department to ensure completely free treatment of H1N1 patients in private hospitals across the state,” he told the newspaper. “They cannot refuse swine flu treatment to anyone and the government will bear the entire cost of such treatment." Of the 1,789 cases reported in Maharashtra, 152 resulted in death.
Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore announced during a state assembly all government hospitals would provide free face masks to patients who test positive for the H1N1 virus, India news site NDTV reported. He also shot down questions suggesting there had been negligence by medical staff at government hospitals. Rajasthan declared a swine flu epidemic earlier in February.
India experienced a similar H1N1 pandemic in 2009 and the pandemic this year has been India’s worst resurgence since. More than 2,700 died from May 2009 to December 2010, Reuters reported.