A high-level meeting, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, was convened here to review the situation and address issues like shortage of drugs. The meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) was attended by chief secretaries and medical heads of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

READ MORE: Swine flu test rate capped at Rs 4,500

The Cabinet Secretary offered them necessary central assistance. Seth told media after the meeting that the Prime Minister has given instructions to ensure that medicines are available and patients get necessary treatment. He said that quite a few of the deaths happened because the treatment was not taken in time or screening was not done in time.

The health officials of various states informed the cabinet secretary through video-conferencing about the availability of drugs, testing kits, diagnostic labs, personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks.

Maharashtra and Haryana have requested for some medicines to augment their emergency stock which are being supplied to them by the union health ministry, an official release said here.

ALSO READ: Chemists asked to stock Tamiflu drug

The Cabinet Secretary stressed that the states should ensure that the outbreak monitoring cells and necessary helplines function round-the-clock. The drug controllers should ensure availability of necessary medicines such as tablets, capsules and vaccines along with guidelines for vaccination and treatment protocol.

"Medicines are there to treat swine flu, there is no need to panic," Seth said.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths due to the disease reached 703 and the total number of cases across the country climbed up to 11,071.

Latest News from India News Desk