Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 19 (ANI): The Kerala government has decided to conduct a surveillance study on Nipah virus and directed its Health Department to prepare a detailed report on it, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Disaster Management Department in Kerala's Kozhikode has relaxed the restrictions in the district as no new cases of Nipah virus infection were reported in the state.

The district collector A Geetha informed that shops and establishments in the above containment zones can operate till 8 pm, while all banks can function till 2 pm as per the Nipah protocol. Masks and sanitisers must be used, social distancing must be followed and gatherings must be strictly controlled, the district collector said. As per the officials, other restrictions will continue till further order.

The District Collector also informed that those who are on the contact list and under observation should follow strict restrictions and remain in quarantine till the period prescribed by the Health Department.

Earlier on Monday, Health Minister Veena George said that no fresh cases of the Nipah virus were reported in the state as 61 samples taken of'high-risk' contacts including healthcare workers tested negative.

She further said that the Nipah strain found in Kerala has been identified as the Indian Genotype, or I Genotype, which is similar to the strain found in Bangladesh.

Six cases of the Nipah virus have been so far found in the state of which two persons died while four others, including a nine-year-old boy, are under treatment. The health minister said that ICMR and WHO had conducted studies and found that Kerala and eight other states in India have the probability of Nipah occurrence.

"Also after 2018, we conducted surveillance and we found that the source of Nipah infection is bats. The virus we found in Kerala is identified as Indian Genotype or I Genotype which is similar to the strain found in Bangladesh. We have two strains of Nipah Virus one is Malaysian and the other from Bangladesh," the Kerala health minister told ANI. (ANI)

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