Public panic over swine flu could put unnecessary pressure on the NHS, Health Secretary Andy Burnham warned today.
He told the Observer that people should be reassured that the Government's response was well planned.
He said: "It is very important for everybody to keep a sense of perspective. It has been a mild virus in the vast majority of cases, with relatively mild symptoms from which people recover fully fairly quickly.
"If people are made unnecessarily anxious, it makes the lives of NHS professionals, who are already under enormous pressure, far more difficult as people become unduly worried."
"People should be assured that we have been planning our response to a pandemic for a long time."
He also said swine flu victims were getting Tamiflu, "quickly and conveniently" using the new National Pandemic Flu Service website and phone line.
Over 58,000 assessments were made by service on Thursday - its first day of operation - 89% of which were completed on the internet, and 5,584 courses of the anti-viral drugs were collected, the Department of Health said.
Mr Burnham said: "These figures show that, despite an unprecedented demand for the National Pandemic Flu Service, the phone line and website are running well, illustrating once again how wonderfully resilient the NHS and its healthcare professionals are.
"People in need of antivirals are able to get them quickly and conveniently using the new service and it is freeing up GPs to look after patients in risk groups as well as those with other illnesses.
"We're greatly encouraged that the flu service is doing the job intended, but we're also aware that the system is in its early days and we are keeping its operation under close review."
His comments came following claims by experts from the University of Cambridge, the Intensive Care Society and St George's Healthcare NHS Trust in London that English hospitals might be unable to cope with the amount of people, especially children, affected by the pandemic.
Across the whole of England, demand for beds could be 60% above the number available.
The Government insisted that it can cancel non-emergency operations to increase the number of beds available but the experts said even this would not meet demand.
But the team calculated an average of 4.5 critical care beds per 100,000 people in England. Their research was published in the journal Anaesthesia.
The Department of Health said there are 364 intensive care beds for children in England and 3,637 for adults.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "Trusts have advised that, in the event of a flu widespread outbreak, they estimate that they could double their critical care capacity for ventilated patients.
"This would be done by invoking their escalation procedures, which include cancelling elective procedures and redeploying staff and providing a more basic level of care for critical care patients (ie, less diagnostic tests etc)."
New adverts for the flu hotline service were launched yesterday as part of a £2.4 million campaign to publicise it. The print adverts detail the symptoms of swine flu, including a fever or a high temperature over 38C or 100.4F.
The adverts reminds patients that they should contact their doctor, rather than use the National Pandemic Flu Service, if they have a serious underlying illness; if they are pregnant; if they have a sick child under one year old; if their condition, or that of their child's, suddenly gets much worse; or if their condition is still getting worse after seven days (five days for a child).
Doctors in Stockholm, Sweden are continuing to treat pregnant swine flu victim Sharon Pentleton, 26, who is described as, "stable but still critical".
She was flown from Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, Scotland to Karolinska University Hospital to be given Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) after she suffered a rare and severe reaction to the virus and developed adult respiratory distress.
No beds were available for the procedure which takes blood out of the body and oxygenates it before returning it.
Staff in Stockholm said that the treatment would last several days while the lungs are allowed to rest.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said 160 countries were now affected by swine flu, and around 800 people have died worldwide. At least 30 have died in the UK after contracting the virus.
The WHO said two billion people could suffer from swine flu.
Airports operator BAA have confirmed health officials were based permanently at the UK's airports and were using "extra vigilance" as they looked for any passengers with possible signs of swine flu infection.
The Foreign Office is still assisting at least 160 British nationals in quarantine because of swine flu in China, Singapore, India, Egypt.
The number for the National Pandemic Flu Service for England is 0800 1513 100 and the website address http://www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu
A parliamentary committee is expected to criticise the Government for being slow to set up a swine flu helpline, it was reported today.
The BBC said the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee would say that ministers failed to follow their own timetable for informing and advising the public in the event of a pandemic.
The report is expected to be published on Tuesday.