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Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 12:53 UK

Swine flu panic grips Indian city

Waiting to be tested for swine flu outside Naidu Hospital in Pune on August 5, 2009.
There are more than 500 confirmed swine flu cases across India

Panic-stricken people have queued up at hospitals in the western Indian city of Pune to be tested for swine flu.

More than 1,000 people have gathered outside the two government hospitals designated to look after swine flu cases in the city.

Chemist shops are reporting a shortage of face masks.

Pune reported India's first swine flu death earlier this week - a 14-year-old school girl tested positive for the H1N1 virus and died in hospital.

Her family has now filed a criminal complaint against the hospital with the police.

Health ministry officials say there are more than 500 confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu strain across the country.

Fights break out

Anxious people with flu symptoms queued up outside health centres in Pune.

Almost all of them were wearing face masks.

One hospital had only 12 doctors to treat the 1,000 people who had gathered outside, the AFP news agency reported.

It said fights broke out as patience wore thin.

"I have been standing outside the hospital since four in the morning. No doctors have called me in for the tests," one man told an Indian news channel.

The number of people going for tests increased after school girl Rida Shaikh died from the disease on Monday.

Her family has alleged negligence on the part of the doctors and the hospital where she was treated and have filed a complaint with the police.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has since spread to at least 74 countries.

The virus is thought to have killed almost 800 people around the world.



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