Swine flu has claimed 38 more lives in India, taking the total nationwide death toll to 812, according to the latest figures released by the country’s health ministry on Sunday.
The total number of people affected by the H1N1 virus has now crossed 13,000, Indian newspaper The Hindu reported.
The new numbers represent a significant jump from the 774 deaths and 12,963 affected individuals cited by the ministry just a day earlier, but a senior health official said there has been an overall dip in the number of fresh cases.
Earlier, private doctors in the north Indian state of Haryana had accused the government of downplaying the number of swine flu cases there and discouraging laboratory testing for the virus.
However, the president of the Haryana Civil Medical Services Association said that private hospitals are forcing patients to pay large sums of money for swine flu testing.
“The private sector has been creating panic in society just to exploit the situation to make more money,” he said. “The public advisory issued has been in the wider interests of people.”