islamabad - A Senate committee was informed Thursday that thirteen people, including two from the federal capital, lost their lives due to seasonal Influenza A/H1N1 while the hospitals are facing shortage of medicine to control the disease.

The National Institute of Health officials briefed the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC), which met here in the chair of Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi.

The committee discussed the status of availability and provision of Influenza vaccine in the city and other parts of the country.

The committee was told that total of 138 patients were suspected with Influenza A/H1N1 in the federal capital. The officials said that two patients suffering from the flue have lost their lives while 93 out of the total were reported negative.

They said in Rawalpindi total of 191 patients were suspected with the flue while 114 were reported negative. Presenting the countrywide picture, the officials informed that total of 920 patients were suspected and 13 out of the total lost their lives. Multan city remained on top where the flue caused 11 deaths.

Officials said that in the wake of upsurge of the disease in different parts of the country especially in southern Punjab, the NIH along with WHO sent two teams of doctors and health professionals to Multan and Bahawalpur for situation analysis and technical support.

The committee while expressing concerns over the growing number of cases and deaths caused by the influenza recommended writing letters to the provinces to make sure the availability of medicines in the hospital.

The officials said that the NIH issued advisories to take preventive measures and after the 18th amendment provincial government are responsible for medical care in the hospitals.

The senate committee also received briefing from Chief Commissioner Islamabad on sale of sub-standard food in the federal capital and measures being taken by the district administration.

He said that the local administration had continued a crackdown on those who were involved in sale of sub-standard food items in the federal capital. He said that the administration was taking action without any discrimination.

He said that the administration had continued its raids to check sale of such substandard food items besides regular checking of quality of food. He added fines had been imposed besides registering of cases against culprits.

He said that the district administration will never allow anyone to sale unhygienic food items in the federal capital and strict monitoring mechanism had been adopted. He added district administration takes immediate action on every complaint.

Some senators were of view that unhygienic food was being served in five-star hotels of federal capital and demanded strict action against them.

The committee expressed its concerns over open sale of tobacco items near federal educational institutions and asked to close down and cancellation of licences of all such temporary shops near schools and colleges to protect the health.