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PIL says only 1 lab in Mumbai for swine flu test; HC tells Maha to set up more

bombay high court

Mumbai : Hearing a PIL that claimed there is only one laboratory for testing swine flu in the city, the Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra government to inform how many such labs exist in the state and take steps to increase such facilities all over.

The Public Interest Litigation claimed that there was only one laboratory in Mumbai to test for swine flu and samples were being sent here from various parts of the state.

Such labs should be set up in every district all over the state to test H1N1 samples as part of the measures to control the spread of the disease, the PIL, filed by advocate Datta Mane, contended.

Currently, there are very few labs in the state, the petition claimed.

A bench of Justices V M Kanade and Swapna Joshi, hearing the PIL recently, observed that it was the duty of the state to set up such labs, while directing the government to file a reply to the PIL on or before October 10.

The PIL referred to media reports saying the state government and local authorities were not serious about adopting steps to tackle swine flu and cure people of the dreaded disease.

The petitioner’s counsel, Pradeep Havnur, said there was only one lab in Mumbai and a few in some districts but these were not sufficient.

He claimed that due to lack of laboratories in the state, several people are succumbing to the dreaded disease because test facilities are not sufficiently available.

The division bench was of the view that the state government and the concerned authorities cannot ignore this and should take steps to set up labs to test for swine flu.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on October 10 when the state would file its response.

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