Pune is under an electric grip of swine flu, and one can see people swathed in masks, milling around while doing the chores and running errands. There is a certain sense of fear that is understandable. To add to the panic, fresh instances of positive tested cases are being reported every day.
My organization has issued strict travel advisories and warnings and I'm taking them very seriously, restricting my movements to a bare minimum and putting off all non-essential travel within the city!
News is just in that a doctor in Pune and a boy in Chennai are the most recent casualties to have succumbed to the epidemic. The number of critical patients is going up!
Health Minister Gulab Nabi Azad's statements over the weekend have done more harm than good. Now, with nearly 800 cases so far, across the country, the Prime Minister's Office has stepped in to take stock of the situation, amidst raging fears that the rate of contagion could be higher!
However, panic should be the last act, and people should focus on maintaining sanitation, avoiding public places and strictly effect necessary precautions to avoid contraction of the flu!
Although, it is difficult for me to say this, I must urge that all non-essential travel to Pune and other affected areas be postponed indefinitely. I also hope that this scourge subsides soon and that normalcy is returned in the lives of people, especially those who have been proximately affected by the outbreak.
For now, it is wait and watch, perhaps, the most excruciating part!