Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Wednesday (September 20) said that no new cases of the Nipah virus have been reported in the last four days in the state. Addressing reporters in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, George said, “No new Nipah cases have been reported in the last four days in the state. Out of the 323 samples tested, 317 samples tested negative and six samples tested positive till now. 11 persons in isolation and their test results are negative”.
We have decided to strengthen the healthcare system. We have started to strengthen the ‘One Health’ activities in the district. We have started training people for the same. ‘One health’ means all the departments will come together. We have also taken the decision to establish an institution where all the departments will be well-coordinated. So, community surveillance will be there throughout the year.
The health minister further said,
We have a health calendar which is issued at the beginning of every year. In 2023, we issued a health calendar in which it was clearly written that Nipah activities should be tarnished. Accordingly, we started training people and samples were collected from the medical college laboratories. Till August 30, that is, before the outbreak, 81 samples were tested. So it is all a part of the surveillance. Our field workers gave us information about these unusual fever cases. They reported the cases to their superior officers.
On being asked about whether the state contained the virus, she said,
Scientifically, we have to wait for the next 21 days of the incubation period from the last positive case and another 21 days will also be on the vision.
Ms George added,
The nine-year-old boy is recovering now. He has a good saturation level also. And the three other people who tested positive are stable now. So far, we have tested 323 samples out of which 317 are negative. We tested all the high-risk contacts of the first positive person. The total number of contacts stands at 994. We are still testing for symptomatic cases.
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.
On being asked about the symptoms of the Nipah virus, she added,
There is no written literature on the symptoms. We are writing them down on the basis of our experiences. I think it is a learning experience. We need to sit together and analyse it.
Earlier today, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state will conduct a seroprevalence study on the Nipah virus being repeatedly found in Kozhikode district.
According to WHO, population-based seroprevalence surveys are conducted to predict the proportion of infection and immunity in order to comprehend disease burden, a pattern of transmission, and associated risk factors.
The Chief Minister said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is not providing a clear answer to why the virus outbreak repeatedly happens in Kozhikode.
“So the state has decided to conduct a sero survey. Have asked the health department to prepare a detailed proposal for this,” CM Vijayan said in a media briefing in Thiruvananthapuram.
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.
Meanwhile, speaking on the women’s reservation bill, Veena George said,
My party (Communist Party of India (Marxist) always stood for the Women’s Reservation Bill. We welcome it.
Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Tuesday introduced the Women’s Reservation Bill in the first sitting of Lok Sabha in the new Parliament building.
The bill has been named “Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.”
Introducing the bill in the Lower House, the minister said,
This Bill is about women’s empowerment. By amending Article 239AA of the Constitution, 33 per cent of seats will be reserved for women in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. Article 330A provides for reservation of seats for SC/ST in the House of People.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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