Nipah Virus: Kerala CM Promises Medical Reimbursements
Nipah Virus: Kerala CM Promises Medical Reimbursements
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Nipah Virus: Kerala CM Promises Medical Reimbursements

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Govt Will Reimburse Patients: Kerala CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced reimbursements for medical expenses incurred by Nipah virus patients. He said the government will allot the amount based on the District Collector’s report.

Kerala Government Says Situation Not 'Alarming' Now

The situation in Kerala at present following the outbreak of Nipah virus is not alarming as no new cases have been reported, a high-level review meeting said on Sunday, 3 June, PTI reported.

The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was attended, among others, by Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajiv Sadanandan and DGP Loknath Behara and senior IAS officers.

The collectors of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, the worst affected by the virus, participated in the meeting through video conferencing, a press release said.

No Threat to Kerala from Nipah Virus: IMA

Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Ravi Wankadekar on Saturday, 2 June, said Kerala need not worry about the Nipah virus as the state is absolutely safe from it now.

State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said Kerala was indeed a safe destination, as around 300 doctors arrived in Kerala from various parts of India for the IMA conference to be held at Kovalam. “The arrival of the renowned doctors to Kerala has an immense significance,” said Surendran.

Wankedekar, who is in the capital city for the IMA conference, said that the virus outbreak does not hold any threat. “Around 300 doctors arriving in the state itself shows that the virus isn't a threat at all,” said the IMA president.

State Health Minister KK Shailaja said that the medical teams of the Centre, state and the private sectors need to be complimented for effectively containing the outbreak.

Of the 18 positive cases, [17] have died and the remaining two are recovering well at the Kozhikode hospital. In all we had sent 193 samples of which 175 were negative. Almost 2,000 people have been reported to have come in contact with the affected and this figure might go up. Things are in control, but we have to be very careful. 
KK Shailaja, State Health Minister

Anxious moments were witnessed on Saturday morning when it was wrongly reported that a 38-year-old woman had died in Kannur district due to the Nipah virus. However, soon other reports surfaced that she had died of other causes and did not carry the Nipah virus.

But even while the state government has assured that the situation is under control, people in Kozhikode district are taking extra precautions with many people wearing masks outdoors. Businesses and market places are less crowded while some movie theatres have downed shutters.

(With inputs from IANS)

KEY EVENT

Kozhikode Schools and Colleges to Stay Shut till 12 June

Schools, colleges and educational institutes in Kozhikode will remain closed till 12 June in the wake of the Nipah virus outbreak. The date was initially extended to 5 June in Wayanad, Kannur and Malappuram, besides Kozhikode, and reopened on Friday in the rest of Kerala, after summer vacation.

Nipah Virus Outbreak: PSC Exams Postponed

The Kerala government on Friday stepped up vigil against the Nipah virus, even as staffers of a taluk hospital at Balussery have been asked to go on leave as a precautionary measure.

All meetings, scheduled to be held in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts this month have been postponed, until further notice, an official said.

The Public Service Commission has postponed all its written and online exams, scheduled to be held, till 16 June.

New dates will be announced later.

Reopening of schools in the two districts had earlier been postponed to 5 June.

Death Toll Rises to 17

According to The News Minute, one more person confirmed to have contracted the Nipah Virus infection passed away in Kerala, taking the death toll to 17.

The deceased, Rasin (25), who hails from Naduvannur, was earlier tested negative for the virus. His results came back positive after a second test.

Kozhikode Hospital Staff Kept in Quarantine

The Kozhikode hospital staff, who have treated several patients affected by the Nipah virus, have reportedly been kept under quarantine within the hospital, reported CNN News18.

KEY EVENT

Death Toll Rises to 16, One More Dead in Kozhikode

ANI reported another death from the Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala,

Soldier From Kerala Dies of Suspected Nipah Virus Infection

A 28-year-old soldier from Kerala, who was posted at Fort William, Kolkata, has died of suspected Nipah virus infection.

He was admitted to the command hospital on 20 May, where he died five days later, a Defence spokesperson here said.

The body of the soldier, Seenu Prasad, who hails from Palakkad district, was not brought to Kerala and the funeral was held in Kolkata, PTI reported.

Prasad's body samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for testing.

The results are awaited.

KEY EVENT

One More Person Dies of Nipah in Kozhikode

One more person on Wednesday, 30 May succumbed to Nipah virus in Kozhikode, taking the death toll in Kerala's Kozhikode and Malappuram districts to 15.

Madhusudhanan (55) of Nellikode in Kozhikode district died on Wednesday, health department sources told PTI.

He was undergoing treatment at a private hospital, they said, adding that Madhusudhanan had tested positive of the virus.

Suspected Case of Nipah Virus in Goa

The state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) has kept under observation a patient, who arrived from Kerala and was found with symptoms of the Nipah virus.

State health minister Vishwajit Rane said the man was under observation at GMCH, located near here in North Goa district, and it was not yet confirmed if he was infected with the deadly virus.

The blood samples of the patient were sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, Rane said, adding that there was no need to panic.

The patient's identity was not disclosed by GMCH.

A senior GMCH official said the man arrived in Goa from Kerala yesterday and complained of having symptoms similar to the Nipah viral infection.

"The patient himself suspected that he might be infected with the virus. So, adequate precaution has been taken by the hospital, as per the protocol drawn by the state government," he said.

Fruit Sellers Report Fall in Income After Nipah Virus Outbreak

Fruit sellers in Thiruvananthapuram say their income has reduced after the outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala. They said customers fear that fruits might be affected with the virus.

Sulfi,a fruit seller, says, “even though we are selling in half of the usual price, no one is willing to buy.”

KEY EVENT

Another Death in Calicut, Death Toll Climbs to 14: ANI

ANI reported one more death from Calicut, Kerala, bringing the death toll from the Nipah virus up to 14.

KEY EVENT

Another Death in Kerala; Toll Up To 13: IANS

A woman under treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital passed away on Saturday, 26 May, taking the total death toll in Kerala to 13.

Kalyani, 62, was admitted to the hospital on 16 May.

KEY EVENT

Bihar Government Issues Advisory

The Bihar government issued a health advisory for its citizens in the light of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala.

Sikkim Govt Issues Advisory on Nipah

The Sikkim health department has issued an advisory urging the people of the state to take precaution against Nipah virus.

"Though there is minimal possibility of Nipah virus in Sikkim, but the people need to take precaution," it said in an advisory on Friday, 25 May in the wake of Nipah outbreak in Kerala.

It is advised to the people that they should not eat fruits and vegetables bitten by birds, bats and animals, wash their hands properly after contacting infected person and monitor fever cases with history of travel to the affected areas i.e. Kerala.

KEY EVENT

Tests Rule out Bats as Source of Nipah Virus

Tests have ruled out bats being behind the spread of the Nipah virus that took 12 lives in Kerala's Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, officials said on Friday, 25 May, reported IANS.

A total of 21 samples from bats and pigs were sent to the High Security Animal Diseases laboratory at Bhopal but all turned out negative according to the results, obtained late Friday evening, said officials.

KEY EVENT

India Seeks Australia's Help in Battling Nipah

With the help of Indian Council of Medical Research and World Health Organisation, the Kerala government has procured about 50 doses of a monoclonal antibody from Australia to combat Nipah virus, state Health minister K K Shylaja said on Friday, 25 May.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had written to the Queensland government in Australia asking it to provide the antibody developed there to test if it can "neutralise" the virus in humans.

KEY EVENT

Tourism Affected in Kerala

The sudden outbreak of the Nipah virus in north Kerala has dashed the hopes of the state Tourism sector, which was expecting a huge inflow of domestic and Gulf holidayers in the coming months.

The southern state is now witnessing wide cancellation of hotel bookings and tour packages and many holidayers are even demanding safety assurance from tour operators to visit 'God's Own Country', industry sources said.

Many industry players blamed the media for blowing out of proportion the virus outbreak, which has affected only some districts.

Though May-June-July-August months are generally considered off-season, the state used to witness large number of domestic tourists as well as those from Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE during the period.

UAE Issues Kerala Travel Warning Over Nipah Virus

The UAE asked its citizens to put off unnecessary travel to Kerala where a Nipah virus outbreak has claimed 11 lives.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) in a statement said that it was closely monitoring the situation.

“The ministry works with its strategic partners to assess the risk of importation of Nipah virus (NiV) cases to the country and put the necessary control measures. Also, Mohap is in continuous coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to implement the global recommendations,” read the statement.

"Mohap alerts the people travelling to Kerala to be aware of possibly of contracting the infection and advises them to postpone unnecessary travel till the situation will be controlled," it added.

KEY EVENT

Fears of Nipah Virus in Hyderabad; Two Suspected Cases

There are now fears of the Nipah virus spreading to Hyderabad, with two suspected cases being reported from there. The two people – one of whom had recently travelled to Kerala on a tour – have been isolated and their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, reported The News Minute.

However, Telangana Director of Medical Education K Ramesh Reddy has asked people not to panic, adding that the samples of two persons were taken and sent just to be safe.

One among the two suspected cases went to Kerala. I spoke to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) officials who are in Kerala, who said that the place the man has been to is hundreds of kilometres away from localities where Nipah virus cases are reported. So chances of him testing positive are few. We are fully geared up to handle emergencies.
Ramesh Reddy to The New Indian Express
KEY EVENT

Discrimination Against Those in Contact With Nipah Virus Victims: Report

The outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala has led to social ostracism, with purported instances of discrimination against those treating the affected patients as well as those in contact with them.

According to The Times of India, one such incident took place on 23 May, when passengers stepped out of a bus in Kozhikode as nurses from the Perambra taluk hospital were also travelling in it. In another instance, two workers of a crematorium in the area were allegedly hesitant to cremate the body of a Nipah virus victim, following which a case was filed against them on Thursday, 24 May.

Moreover, the number of patients coming for treatment for issues other than the Nipah virus in various hospitals has also declined owing to fear.

Union Health Ministry Also Issues Advisory

Amid fears that Nipah virus has spread to other states such as Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, 24 May, issued an advisory for general public and healthcare personnel mentioning the preventive measures they should adopt in high-risk areas, along with information on how the disease spreads and what the symptoms are.

Himachal Pradesh Health Ministry Issues Advisory Over Nipah

The Himachal Pradesh health ministry has issued an advisory over Nipah virus on Thursday, 24 May, after finding eight dead bats. Samples of the bats have been sent for tests and the results are awaited. State Health Minister Vipin S Parmar said that the CMOs and task force of the health department were alert and prepared.

India Seeks Australia's Help to Combat Nipah Virus Outbreak

In the wake of Nipah virus cases in Kerala, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has written to the Queensland government in Australia asking it to provide an antibody developed there to test if it can "neutralise" the virus in humans.

"In Australia, it has only been tried in vitro (happening outside the body in artificial conditions, often in a test tube) and has been found to be effective. But it has not been tested on humans," said ICMR Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, while clarifying that it will not lead to creation of vaccine.

"We have asked them to give their monoclonal antibody for conducting a test in India to find out if it can neutralise the Nipah virus in humans,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

KEY EVENT

Mangaluru Does Not Have Any Nipah Virus Cases: Health Dept Officials

The result for suspected Nipah Virus infection in Mangaluru has turned out to be negative, the Dakshina Kannada District Health and Family Welfare Officer told The News Minute.

Although, there is no Nipah virus infection in Mangaluru, Dakshina Kannada was put on high alert, sparking fears in the district, the report added.

KEY EVENT

Nipah Only a Local Occurrence, Not Major Outbreak: Health Ministry

After reviewing the cases of patients who have lost their lives, the Central high-level team appointed by the Union Health Minister is of the view that the Nipah Virus is not a “major outbreak” and is only a “local occurrence.”

KEY EVENT

US Biotechs to Speed Work on Nipah Vaccine

A global coalition set up a year ago to fight epidemics has struck a $25 million deal with two US biotech companies to accelerate work on a vaccine against the brain-damaging Nipah virus.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said on Thursday that Profectus BioSciences and Emergent BioSolutions would receive up to $25 million to advance development and manufacturing of a shot for the bat-borne disease.

The experimental vaccine being developed by the biotech companies has produced promising results in animal tests, following more than 15 years of research by scientists at the US-based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent.

(With Reuters inputs)

KEY EVENT

Govt Steps in as Workers Refuse to Cremate Victims' Bodies

The district authorities of Kozhikode have been up and about to banish misconceptions about the spread of Nipah virus following alleged incidents of crematorium workers refusing to cremate victims’ bodies, The News Minute reported.

All hospital staff and crematorium workers have been given gloves and masks to protect themselves. Such incident of non-cooperation only happens due to misconceptions about Nipah spreading. This natural creates fear among people. Technical measures have been taken to prevent transmission based on advice given by health experts.
Officers at the control room to TNM. 

Fearing contraction, the crematorium workers on Mavoor Road reportedly refused to do the funeral of the Nipah virus victims which was delayed by 7 hours, the TNM report added.

TNM quoted that the kin of the deceased lodged a complaint with the corporation over the workers' refusal to cremate the body.

The cremation finally took place on Tuesday evening upon the arrival of a special team from Palakkad, the report said.

Health Ministry Tweets the Steps It's Taking to Control the Spread of Nipah Virus

KEY EVENT

Nipah Scare: 18 Dead Bats Found in HP's Nahan District

After the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala which claimed 11 lives, more than 18 dead bats were discovered on Wednesday in the premises of a government school in Himachal Pradesh’s Nahan, ANI reported.

As locals reeled under panic, officers of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Forest Department took samples from the dead bats, which were found in a school for further investigation, the report added.

Dr Sanjay Sharma, the district's Chief Medical Officer said that though bats are present in the area every year, this year their numbers are significantly higher.

(With ANI inputs)

KEY EVENT

How is Nipah Virus Transmitted?

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MoHFW_INDIA)
KEY EVENT

Fear of Nipah Virus in Karnataka

Two suspected cases of Nipah Virus were reported from Karnataka on Wednesday, 23 May, Reuters reported.

Symptoms of the virus surfaced in a 20-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man in Mangalore after they travelled to neighbouring Kerala and had contact with infected patients, Rajesh BV, a health official in Karnataka told Reuters.

However, it has been clarified by the health official that they are not confirmed cases of Nipah, but the patients are being treated and their blood samples have been sent for screening.

KEY EVENT

There Is No Cause to Panic: Ashwini Choubey, MoS Health

As the death toll due to Nipah virus is on a rise in Kerala, Minister of State for Heath and Family Welfare, Ashwini Choubey has said that that there is no need to panic.

He has said that the virus is a localised occurence and a high level central team of Ministry of Health and has been stationed in Kerala.

All-Party Meeting in Kozhikode on 25 May

To discuss issues relating to outbreak of the virus, an all-party meeting has also been called at the Kozhikode collectorate on 25 May, in which representatives of political parties, MPs and MLAs will participate.

Health minister Shylaja, Labour Minister TP Ramakrishnan and Transport minister AK Saseendran, will attend the all-party meeting.

KEY EVENT

CM Pinarayi Vijayan Commissions High-Level Meet

A high-level meeting chaired by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, reviewed the steps taken by the state government to contain the outbreak of Nipah virus, which has claimed 11 lives so far.

Directions have been given to continue vigil and to strengthen the state's monitoring mechanism, besides increasing awareness about the virus and strengthening precautionary measures, a government press release said.

A committee led by the chief secretary will monitor the situation continuously. Ribavirin tablets, an anti-viral medicine are being distributed and officials have been asked to send the medicines to all affected areas, the release said.

KEY EVENT

Who is at High Risk?

KEY EVENT

Government's Plan of Action to Tackle Nipah Virus

Isolation wards have also been set up in Thalassery government hospital in Kannur, according to media reports.

In Kozhikode, from where seven deaths have been reported, District Collector UV Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna.

The anganwadis in these regions too have been asked to close down to avoid spread of the virus among children.

However, no decision has been taken yet on reopening of schools after the summer vacation. The administration is hoping that the situation will be under control by the time schools reopen after a week.

In neighbouring Malappuram, where three persons have died due to the virus, orders have been issued in four panchayats to stop Anganwadi classes for the time being.

A crisis management group has been constituted to coordinate the response of government agencies following the deaths in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

An expert team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr S K Jain, and a high-level team from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are camping in Kerala to take stock of the situation.

Surveillance has been increased in all districts.

(With inputs from PTI)

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The total death toll from the Nipah virus rose to 17 on Friday, 1 June. Schools and colleges in Calicut will remain shut till 12 June, ANI reported. Officials also said that bats are not responsible for the spread of the Nipah virus.

India has reportedly procured 50 doses of an antibody from Australia, which will help in fighting the virus.

Snapshotclose

  • 17 people have died due to the virus outbreak
  • Sikkim and Bihar governments have issued health advisories to the people of the state.
  • The UAE has asked its residents to put off unnecessary travel to Kerala
KEY EVENT

Nipah Virus Death Toll Rises to 11

The death toll due to Nipah rose to 11 in Kerala, with one more person succumbing to the deadly virus in Kozhikode, Kerala on Thursday, 24 May.

The deceased, V Moosa (61), had been battling for life since the past few days in a private hospital here and was on ventilator support, Kozhikode district medical officer, Dr Jayasree E told reporters.

About 160 samples have been sent for testing at the virology institute and 13 cases have been found to be positive, she said.

Of the 13 confirmed cases, 11 people have died so far.

The official further said confirmation is awaited with regard to one more death in Kozhikode.

Travellers Asked to Avoid Four Kerala Districts

Amid the outbreak of the Nipah virus, the Kerala government on Wednesday, 23 May, asked travellers to avoid visiting four northern districts of the state – Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

In an advisory issued by Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan, it was stated that travelling to any part of Kerala was safe. But if travellers wished to be extra cautious, they may avoid the four districts, it said.

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