One more person succumbed due to swine flu in Punjab, raising the toll due to the H1N1 virus to 24 this year, said Deepak Bhatia, State Surveillance Officer of Punjab Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.
    
Out of over 165 suspected patients of swine flu in the state, 71 have tested positive for the virus so far, the official said.
    
In Haryana, two more deaths were reported due to the deadly disease, taking the toll to 17 this year while the number of positive cases reached 116, Haryana's Additional Director General, Health Services, Dr Kamla Singh said.

As a part of Centre's guidelines to the states to combat the H1N1 virus, health workers have been asked to screen people with symptoms of the flu on the basis of their severity and categorise them, Bhatia said.

He further said an advisory has been issued to both government and private schools to send students showing symptoms of swine flu on a five-day leave.
    
"The instructions have been issued to all government and private schools in the state in this regard," he said. Students of all schools and colleges would also be monitored on a daily basis, as per the guidelines issued to educational institutions, he said.
    
People have been advised to avoid crowded places, not to sneeze or spit without the use of tissue paper/handkerchief and adopt practices of frequent hand washing with soap and water.
    
Meanwhile, health officials of both Punjab and Haryana maintain that the situation is "under control" and hospitals are well equipped to take care of patients and there was no need for panic.

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