Ahmedabad, Feb 12 (PTI) As many as 1,431 cases of swine flu have been reported from across Gujarat between January 1 and February 10 this year, with 55 patients dying due to the H1N1 virus, the state government told the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday.

In 2018, 2,164 cases were reported in the state and 97 persons had died, the government told the division bench of Acting Chief Justice A S Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate K R Koshti, seeking a direction to the state government to take measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

The government told the court that it is taking several measures to tackle the disease and had put in place infrastructure like nine laboratories for free of charge diagnosis and had approved eight private laboratories to conduct tests.

The state government also told the court that apart from setting up and approving 17 laboratories equipped to test swine flu cases, it had also set up 489 isolation wards, which can be scaled up to 1,500.

Masks and other necessary items have also been provided and kept ready, it added.

As many as 2,800 healthcare providers serving in ICUs and isolation wards have been vaccinated, the government said.

Close kin of people who tested positive for the virus are being traced and ICUs and isolation wards of private hospitals are being audited, it said.

A team of physicians and anaesthesiologists has been trained in ventilator care management, it added.

The government said the cases had been reported from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Kutch, Rajkot, Amreli, Gandhinagar and Banaskantha, among other areas.

It added that mass media was being used to spread awareness about the disease.

In 2017, a total of 431 persons had died due to swine flu in Gujarat.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.