Kerala govt strengthens measures to prevent spread of Nipah virus

Considering the serious nature of the disease, the Kozhikode administration declared seven village panchayats as containment zones.

Published: 13th September 2023 11:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2023 11:14 AM   |  A+A-

People wear masks at a medical college after the Nipah virus alert, in Kozhikode, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. (Photo | PTI)


KOZHIKODE: The Kerala government has strengthened measures to prevent the spread of Nipah virus infection after the brain-damaging virus killed two people and infected two others in this north Kerala district. Considering the serious nature of the disease, the Kozhikode administration declared seven village panchayats as containment zones.

In a Facebook post, Kozhikode District Collector A Geetha said that the panchayats declared as containment zones included Atanchery, Maruthonkara, Tiruvallur, Kuttiyadi, Kayakkodi, Villyapalli, and Kavilumpara.

No travel in or out of these containment zones will be allowed till further notice. The police have been asked to cordon off these areas, she said on Tuesday.

ALSO READ | Common symptoms of fever, Nipah baffle doctors in Kerala

Only stores selling essential commodities and medical supplies will be allowed to function. Stores selling essential goods will be allowed to function from 7 am to 5 pm.

No time bar has been given for pharmacies and health centres.

Local self-government institutions and village offices can function with minimum staff.

Banks, other government or quasi-government institutions, educational institutions, and anganwadis should not operate, the collector said. The public should use online services and avoid going to local self-government institutions, she said.

Buses or vehicles plying on national highways through the containment zones should not stop in the affected areas. Directions regarding this should be issued by the regional transport officer and district transport officer, the post said.

All should maintain social distancing and use masks and sanitiser in the containment zones, it said.

ALSO READ | Nipah: More challenges in fourth outbreak in Kerala

Soon after the Nipah virus infection was confirmed in Kozhikode district, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged people not to panic and to take precautions instead. "Everyone should strictly follow the instructions of the health department and the police and fully cooperate with the restrictions," he had said.

Talking to reporters in Kozhikode on Tuesday, state Health Minister Veena George said one of the people who was infected with the virus was a nine-year-old boy.

George said out of the five samples, three have tested positive.

"The samples of the person who died on Monday and two others under treatment, including the nine-year-old boy, have tested positive," she said.

The death of the first person, on August 30, was initially considered a death due to the comorbidity of liver cirrhosis, but his son, the nine-year-old boy who is already in ICU, and his 24-year-old brother-in-law are the two positive cases that were detected on Tuesday.

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