Thursday's deaths were reported from Kutch (3), Ahmedabad (2) and Anand, Valsad, Bharuch and Navsari districts (one each). Besides, sixty-one new cases were also reported, taking the total number of swine flu cases to 476.

Kutch is the worst-affected region with 169 positive cases and 22 deaths till now.

Health Minister Nitin Patel on Thursday said the state government was taking all the necessary steps to control the situation. Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar, Patel also listed the various measures undertaken.

As many as 162 swine flu patients had been cured and discharged from hospitals, he said.

Extra attention was being given to the Kutch district and a senior officer had been sent there to monitor the situation, he said.

A hi-tech laboratory was being set up at Bhuj-based Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Science Hospital for early diagnosis of swine flu.

The minister also said that 500 beds and 236 isolation wards with ventilators had been kept reserved for swine flu patients at various hospitals in the state; if needed, 300 more beds will be provided.

State had enough stock of medicines and order had been placed for 1,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine, he added.

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