Pune (Maharashtra) [India], September 14 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar reviewed steps taken for containment of Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode, Kerala, from the Indian Council of Medical Research- National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV), in Pune on Thursday.
She visited the ICMR-NIV Institute in Pune to take stock of preparations.
After undertaking the review, Dr Pawar stated,"The Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and under the guidance of Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya is monitoring the situation and necessary steps for prevention of spread are being taken. Under the guidance of Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, high level teams from the Centre and ICMR-NIV with mobile units equipped with BSL-3 laboratories have already reached Kozhikode and will be doing on-ground testing. Affected gram panchayats in the Kozhikode area have been declared as quarantine zones."The Union Minister assured that that the Union Health Ministry and the ICMR-NIV is monitoring the issue on a daily basis and all possible arrangements are being made by the central government to deal with the viral outbreak.
In the wake of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode district, the District Collector has declared holidays for all educational institutions including Anganwadis, Madrasas, tuition centres including professional colleges on September 16, in addition to the two-day holiday already declared for September 14 and September 15.
Earlier, amid rising concerns over the return of the Nipah virus in Kerala, the state government strengthened measures to prevent the spread of the infection a day after two deaths from the same were confirmed in Kozhikode district.
Meanwhile, the total number of active cases of the infection has gone up to three with the confirmation of one more positive case of Nipah in Kozhikode on Wednesday.
Kerala Health Minister V George said that 13 people who are on the contact list are admitted to the medical college and their health condition is stable.
Health Minister Veena George while addressing a press conference on Wednesday, said, "So far, three samples have tested Nipah positive. We have started contact tracing. Of 706 contacts, 77 are in the high-risk category, 153 health workers are in the low-risk category,""Those who are in isolation can use the support of volunteers. Volunteers will be appointed by Panchayats. More rooms will be set up in hospitals for isolation," she said.
Till the 24th of this month, if necessary the district collector can ban gatherings in Kozhikode district. The person who died due to Nipah on 20th August is the index case, said the Minister. (ANI)