KOZHIKODE: There is no evidence that Mohammad Sabith, the first death reportedly due to Nipah virus, had travelled to Malaysia, police said here on Saturday. This, after a section of the media and local people speculated that Sabith had gone to Malaysia, where Nipah virus was first detected, and had contracted it from that country.
Police said they have not obtained any evidence which could prove the Malaysia link.
Recently, on the basis of some media reports, it was rumoured that Sabith was in Malaysia a month before his death and had returned after he was down with fever.
Health Minister K K Shailaja on Friday had also told media that a few elected representatives who had attended the review meeting held at Collectorate on Friday demanded a probe into this angle.
Kozhikode District Police Chief G Jaidev told 'Express' that a special squad have been formed to probe this. “The special team will inquire about all the things – travel history, people contacted and all. As part of this, we have so far got no authentic evidence to prove that Sabith has gone to Malaysia. Anyhow, we are double checking every fact,” he said.
On the other hand, the relatives of Sabith have come out in public with Sabith's passport which shows that he had not gone to Malaysia. The same fact was confirmed by 'Express' on Friday with his relative M T Ajnas who said Sabith had never visited Malaysia.
“He had gone to Dubai for a job there. He was there for nearly nine months or so. He returned to his hometown around five or six months ago. Since then, he had been working here and had not gone abroad. All such reports saying that Sabith had gone to Malaysia is wrong,” he said adding that when had come from Dubai he was suffering from ulcer for which Sabith had sought treatment here.
“We have lost three of our members. And people are isolating us as they fear whether they would also be infected. We are going through a very difficult situation. People might be saying about the treatment he had undergone for ulcer. But some media have reported that he had gone to Malaysia and was infected with Nipah virus from there. This is not true. Such reports would only hurt us. We request people not to spread such things,” he added.