In view of the rising number of cases and reported deaths due to Nipah Virus in Kozhikode, Kerala, J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has assured all support to the Kerala Government and has directed a multi-disciplinary central team from National Centre for Disease Control to immediately visit the district, and assist the state and closely monitor the situation. The team will reach Kerala today.
“We are closely monitoring the situation. I have spoken to Alphons and K Shailaja, Health Minister, Kerala and assured them all support of the central government. I have also dispatched a Central team to assist the State government and initiate required steps,” the Union Health Minister said in a statement from Geneva.
On the directions of the Health Minister, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) has also spoken to the Principal Health Secretary of Kerala and reviewed the situation.
The central team includes Dr Sujeet K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control, Dr S K Jain, Head Epidemiology, NCDC, Dr P Ravindran, Director, Emergency Medical Relief (EMR), Dr Naveen Gupta, Head Zoonosis, NCDC along with two clinicians and one expert from Ministry of Animal Husbandry.
Two of the victims were brothers; the third, a woman, was a relative who had visited them in hospital, Dr Reena, Additional Director of Communicable Disease in Kerala Government said. The first death was reported on Saturday, the Chief Minister’s office said
Eight people, suspected to have contracted the Nipah virus, are being monitored in a special ward in Kozhikode Medical College as well as three other hospitals. “Their blood samples have been sent for further confirmation. They are mostly people who were in contact with either of the three who died,” Dr Reena said. The Kerala government has instructed private hospitals not to deny treatment to anyone suffering from fever.