Nipah: Preventive steps in place; no clue on virus source in Kerala
The minister also advised people to exercise caution and asked them to stay calm as those who were in close contact with the deceased are under treatment.
KOZHIKODE: Despite several attempts to trace the source of the Nipah virus since 2018, no exact information or scientific explanation regarding the source of the virus is available yet. The mystery is likely to repeat in the Nipah cases reported in Kozhikode district on Monday, as no primary evidence or information regarding the source has been identified so far.
Meanwhile, an uneasy calm prevailed in the places where the Nipah deaths were reported. A ward in Maruthonkara panchayat where the first Nipah death occurred is mostly a residential area, packed with houses, according to an Asha worker in the region. “After inspecting the houses in the ward, no cases of fever or any abnormality among people could be found,” she added.
People said they had rarely seen any bats in the region, which again increases the suspicion among the public as to how the virus could have been transmitted to the 47-year-old person who died on August 30.
At the same time, Vinod, a junior health inspector from Maruthonkara panchayat, said: "The man who died of Nipah was an NRI who had returned to the state after winding up his works in UAE."
"After speaking to the family members and local residents, we have understood that he hardly stepped out and his interaction with local people was minimal. But he owns a property in Kavilanpara, where he goes occasionally to collect coconuts. He rarely visits the place as it has been leased to a private party, he said.
After the Nipah outbreak was reported, Maruthonkara and Ayenchery panchayats turned into deserted places as people stopped coming out of their houses. All educational institutions in the region were shut on Tuesday. A few people were seen outside but they were following strict precautionary measures against the virus.
At a meeting held in Kozhikode, Health Minister Veena George said that mass testing will be launched in the places where the latest Nipah cases were reported and quarantine measures have been put in place. The minister also advised people to exercise caution and asked them to stay calm as those who were in close contact with the deceased are under treatment.