Kerala MLA Wears Mask to Assembly to Highlight Nipah Outbreak

The MLA said his act was only to bring the government’s attention to the situation in Kuttiyadi-Perambra region.

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Politics
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IUML MLA Parakkal Abdullah arrives in the Kerala Assembly, wearing a mask and gloves to seek attention of the house towards the outbreak of Nipah virus, in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
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Kicking up a row, an IUML MLA on Monday, 4 June, attended the Kerala Assembly wearing mask and gloves to highlight the impact of Nipah virus in Kozhikode district, triggering a war of words between the ruling LDF and Opposition UDF members.

According to a report by PTI, Kuttiady MLA Parakkal Abdulla walked into the Assembly wearing mask and gloves, and was seen greeting the Opposition members.

While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the member's behaviour amounted to 'trivialising' a serious issue, Health Minister KK Shylaja reportedly described it as a 'ridiculous act.'

The state has been maintaining extreme vigil following the outbreak of the virus.

Applauding the government, CM Vijayan said that all necessary steps had been taken to control the outbreak, with the health department intervening efficiently. Despite this, the MLA had walked into the house wearing a mask, he said, attacking Abdulla.

Meanwhile, KK Shylaja said that there was a certain criteria to wear the mask. “If the member was infected by the virus, he should not have come to the house,” she told the news agency.

Meanwhile, the leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said he was told by the MLA that he had worn the mask as a symbolic gesture of support to the people of Kozhikode.

Justifying his act, Abdulla said he was only attempting to bring the government's attention to the situation in Kuttiyadi-Perambra region, the epicentre of the Nipah virus.

Sixteen persons have lost their lives so far to Nipah virus (NiV) in two districts, Kozhikode and Malappuram, of the state since the confirmation of the deadly virus on 17 May.

(With inputs from PTI)

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