Swine flu: Rights group warns Pakistanis against travelling to India

KArachiKARACHI: As swine flu (H1N1 virus) claims nearly 1,000 lives in India, the eponymous Ansar Burney Trust Chairman has advised Pakistanis against traveling to India.

A human and civil rights organisation, the Trust has also urged Pakistani citizens who are currently in India to avoid swine flu-affected areas and public places where the disease is more likely to spread.

The number of those who have contracted the disease in India this year has reached 23,153. Within the past 24 hours, a total of 41 more deaths have been reported across India, according to Indian media reports.

Ansar Burney said that the Trust was trying hard to raise awareness about swine flu which has become an epidemic in India and could spread to Pakistan.

Burney mentioned a recent case in which famous Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor was tested positive for H1N1 virus after she was admitted into Sterling Hospital in Rajkot on Feb 27.

Burney has requested President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take measures to prevent the spread of swine flu.

Hospitals in Pakistan may not be prepared or equipped to deal with a large influx of inpatients suffering from H1N1, a visit to a hospital in Karachi revealed.

In an attempt to stop the spread of the disease, government officials in India had banned public gatherings in some regions of the country.

H1N1 is a seasonal flu virus similar to that found in pigs. Although it circulates in pigs, the virus cannot be passed on by eating or handled contaminated pork products which are cooked properly.

A respiratory virus, it is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with particles of the flu.

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