Nipah Virus: 11 Dead, Centre Keeps Close Watch on Kerala
Doctors and patients wear safety masks at a Medical college in Kozhikode.
Doctors and patients wear safety masks at a Medical college in Kozhikode.(Photo: PTI)

Nipah Virus: 11 Dead, Centre Keeps Close Watch on Kerala

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday, 23 May, said the central expert team is closely monitoring the situation in Kerala and is working towards containment of the Nipah virus that has claimed 11 lives so far.

Following directions of the Union Health Minister JP Nadda, a multi-disciplinary central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is presently in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation of the Nipah virus disease.
Health Ministry statement

Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said that the outbreak of Nipah virus (NiP) has been contained and there was no need to panic, but there was a need to be alert.

The outbreak of Nipah virus, spread by fruit bats that infects both animals and humans, came to light when two brothers and their aunt in Perambara of Kozhikode district died within a few weeks. As of now, 13 patients were confirmed afflicted with the virus.

Government’s Plan of Action

There are 16 suspected cases, 15 of which are admitted in Government Medical College, Kozhikode, and one is undergoing treatment in Manjeri Medical College in Malappuram district, the ministry said in its statement.

"Lab results of these admissions are awaited," it added. Of the total 11 deaths, eight died in Kozhikode and three in Malappuram.

On Tuesday, 22 May, the Central team held meetings with the state health minister and doctors of government as well as private hospitals.

“Clinical picture, management and treatment given to the patients were discussed in detail along with contact tracing strategy,” the statement added.

A part of the team led by SK Singh, director, NCDC, visited Malappuram district. The team, along with the Shailaja, also interacted with the general public to create awareness and allay any fears in their mind about the disease.

Also Read: Nipah Outbreak: Travellers Asked to Avoid Four Kerala Districts

Another part of the Central team, led by P Ravindran, director of emergency medical relief, visited the Government Medical College in Kozhikode and reviewed the treatment procedure, infection control practices, use and availability of personal protective equipment and drugs.

On Wednesday, 23 May, the team held meetings with the District Collector of Kozhikode and discussed streamlining the reporting mechanism and strengthening inter-sectoral coordination.

A draft reporting format was prepared and shared with experts for cases, suspects and contacts.

"An action plan was also developed for the healthcare staff and simulation exercise was planned. It was decided to provide separate ambulances for transportation of the suspects to designated isolation facilities," said the ministry.

Also Read: Nurse Tending to Nipah Virus Victims Dies, Leaves Behind Letter

Two Booked for Spreading Fake News

According to The Indian Express, the Kerala police have registered a case against two people for spreading false rumours on social media about the virus. They have claimed that the news of the outbreak of Nipah virus was a false propoganda launched by international pharmaceuticals.

The complaint was filed by the Kerala Private Ayurvedic Practitioners’Association.

(With inputs from IANS and The Indian Express)

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)

Follow our India section for more stories.

    Also Watch