Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has allowed 21 private hospitals in the state to treat swine flu cases, a senior government official said here today. So far, the death toll due to swine flu in Maharashtra has reached 19.

The swine flu pandemic Swine flu, till now, has claimed three lives in Mumbai. Experts think malaria is a bigger threat because more than 3,000 people have been admitted to hospitals this month. Of the 40 deaths, at least 15 have died because of malaria.

A student who has returned to Hazaribagh town from Pune has been admitted to the Sadar hospital with flu symptoms.

Doctors suspect that 25-year-old Saket Kumar has contracted the H1N1 virus. His swab sample has been sent to RIMS in Ranchi.

The World Health Organisation has given $2 million to a Pune-based vaccine-making firm to develop and manufacture swine flu vaccine.

The large- scale movement of migrant labour into Garo Hills for employment in the coal and limestone mines and frequent travellers to and from Guwahati-Shillong-Tura have rung the alarm bells for medical experts who believe Garo Hills could also face an outbreak of swine flu.

The scare of swine flu has crept into the Defence establishments after a CRPF jawan and an Army soldier in Mizoram and a jawan in Assam tested positive for it.

Defence sources said all the security forces have been put on alert to prevent its personnel from being affected by the H1N1 virus even as special monitoring was being done for those returning from holidays.

Two more patients in Assam have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, and they have been lodged in at the Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh and at the Army Base Hospital, Basistha. The total number of patients undergoing treatment for the flu infection in the state now stands at three.

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa recorded its first Influenza A H1N1 cases on Tuesday with two persons testing positive. Lab tests at the National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, confirmed the flu in Ratikanta Nayak (28) of Soro in Balasore and Amit Singh, a student of NIT, Rourkela.

While the lone patient infected by H1N1 virus lodged in Guwahati

NEW DELHI: The Union government will soon issue a fresh set of guidelines for schools to help them contain the spread of A (H1N1). It includes asking the authorities to avoid holding the morning assembly, cultural gatherings and any other kind of congregation.