THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The moment the first case of Nipah was identified in the state, amidst the fight against COVID-19, the government swung into action and took all necessary steps, including forming committees, setting up a testing lab at Kozhikode Medical College and carrying out an intensive tracing of contacts, to fight against the deadly virus, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media in the evening, he said the government immediately formed 16 committees to oversee the monitoring, sample testing, result management, contact tracing, operation of a travel system for the sick, infrastructure management and data analysis, for effectively preventing spread of Nipah.
He said that presently there were 257 people on the contact list and of these, 141 were health workers and none of them have any serious symptoms.
He also said that all the samples tested till then were negative for Nipah and more were being tested at the lab in Kozhikode Medical College as well as at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and their outcome was awaited.
He said the lab at Kozhikode was set up overnight with the joint and active efforts of NIV Pune, NIV Alappuzha and the medical college where a pay ward block was converted for Nipah treatment and isolation.
The other steps taken by the state were preparing a contact list and route map, making available ambulance facilities for those who were in contact with the 12-year-old boy who died of Nipah, recruiting additional staff and trained personnel and establishing a control room for coordinating everything related to Nipah, he said.
Besides that all districts have been directed to be vigilant and to prepare a Nipah management plan if required, he said and added that an updated treatment and discharge guidelines have been released.
The chief minister said that ICMR has assured to get monoclonal antibody from Australia for the state.
Awareness campaigns have also been intensified in the Nipah affected areas and teams have been trained to conduct home visits and collect information, including symptoms, he said and added that an E-health software has been introduced share all the information about Nipah among all departments concerned and authorities.