KOZHIKODE: “He was a sweet boy, always smiling. He used to pass in front of my house with his pet goats. The goats were taken to graze in a nearby plot and compounds of his relatives,” said 58-year old Rukhiya P P, neighbour of the 12-year-old boy who died of Nipah infection here on Sunday. The boy was the lone child of a daily wage labourer and wife.
The people of Pazhoor village were shocked to hear that Nipah caused the boy’s death. “Because of Covid spread, he used to stay at home most of the time. His outing was limited to the houses of relatives who live nearby,” said Yasir Muhammed, one of the relatives.
His father bought four goats some time back following the Covid-induced lockdown to tide over the financial difficulties. Two of them were sold recently. “He used to play with the children of his father’s brother while the goats grazed,” Rukhiya told The New Indian Express.
The relatives were surprised that the health minister claimed that one of the goats had contracted some disease. The boy developed fever on August 27 and had visited three hospitals and a clinic before reaching the private hospital where the virus infection was identified. He was studying in class 7 at Pazhoor.
“He was a smart kid. It is said that he had eaten Rambutan fruit recently which was being grown in their courtyard. But nearby residents vouch that he had eaten only only freshly plucked fruit,” said ward member E P Valsala. Among the 188 persons on his contact list, 15 are from Chathamangalam grama panchayat who are mostly his kin.
Timeline of events
August 27: The boy played with kids children in neighbourhood
August 28: At home
August 29: Visited a clinic at Eranjimavu due to fever. Travelled to and from in autorickshaws
August 30: At home
August 31: Visited EMS Hospital, Mukkam, in his uncle’s autorickshaw
August 31: Visited Santhi Hospital, Omasserry, in his uncle’s autorickshaw
August 31: Visited Kozhikode MCH in ambulance
Sept 1: Shifted to Aster Mims Hospital, Kozhikode, in ambulance
Sept 3: Sample sent to NIV, Pune
Sept 4: Nipah confirmed
Sept 5: Died around 4.45 am