Health Minister allays fears, govt sets up 24x7 health screening camps at TN-Kerala border points

Health department sources said all government hospitals and private hospitals have been instructed to report details of fever patients to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal.

Published: 14th September 2023 08:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2023 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

Ma Subramaniam

Health Minister Ma Subramaniam

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE/CHENNAI: Health Minister Ma Subramaniam on Wednesday allayed fears about the chances of the Nipah virus spreading in Tamil Nadu. Addressing media persons at Nilgiris, a day after Nipah deaths were confirmed in neighbouring Kerala, the minister said the health department has started to screen people entering the state from Kerala at border checkposts in six districts including Coimbatore, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari. 

“Treatment will be given to people who show fever symptoms and people in Tamil Nadu need not fear the virus,” the minister said. He visited Gudalur to lay the foundation stone for a 200-bed block on the Gudalur taluk hospital premises.

“Based on the Chief Minister MK Stalin’s order, The state government has taken up construction of 25 district headquarters hospitals including the six newly upgraded district headquarters hospitals at a total cost of `1100 crore,” the minister said.

According to sources in the health department fever surveillance commenced at Walayar on the TN- Kerala border and medical camps were being conducted through Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam volunteers in villages along the Kerala border. 

Health department sources said all government hospitals and private hospitals have been instructed to report details of fever patients to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal. “If patients present with symptoms of Acute Encephalitis syndrome should report to the health department,” said P Aruna Deputy Director of Health Services.

Officials on high alert

Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine briefed all deputy directors of health services on the prevention and control of Nipah virus infection, stepping up vigil in the districts bordering Kerala.
In his circular, Dr. T S Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, instructed all the deputy directors of health services (DDHS) to deploy health teams at border check posts that work round the clock to screen all symptomatic cases, and provide them with the protective equipment required. 

Tenkasi district administration begins round-the-clock fever screening at Kerala border

TENKASI:  After Kerala reported two cases of Nipah virus deaths, the district administration began a round-the-clock fever screening centre at the Puliyarai check post on Wednesday.

District Collector D Ravichandran and Deputy Director (DD) of Health Service PR Muralisankar inspected the ongoing screening works. "Three teams of health inspectors and domestic breeding checkers are checking the body temperatures of passengers and drivers of buses, cars, vans, and trucks. Those who have a fever are being referred to government hospitals (GHs), where the staff has been requested to update the DDs if they are treating any fever cases in the district," said an official.

In a letter to the DDs on Wednesday, the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said health teams should be deployed at border check posts 24x7 to screen all symptomatic cases with necessary protective equipment, especially in The Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Theni, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari.

As Kerala reported Nipah virus deaths, Tamil Nadu's Tenkasi district administration began fever screening at the Puliyarai check post. Tenkasi Collector D Ravichandran and Deputy Director of Health Service Muralisankar inspected screening works

"Strengthen the surveillance on Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (fever with altered sensorium) (AES). People with symptoms of AES admitted from the border districts of Kerala, especially from Kozhikode and Malappuram, should be followed up. The government and major private hospitals should be alerted to the Nipah virus outbreak and instructed to ensure timely notification of AES cases to the district surveillance officers through the IDSP-IHIP portal," the letter read.

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


Fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion, diarrhoea

In infected people, Nipah virus causes severe illness characterised by inflammation of the brain or respiratory diseases

Measures of prevention

Wash hands with soap and water after coming in contact with a sick person/animal

Avoid consuming raw date palm sap or toddy

Consume only washed fruits

Avoid consuming half eaten fruits

Handling of dead bodies should be done in accordance with the government advisory

Source: Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp