Amid growing worries over the return of Nipah virus in Kerala, Kozhikode District Collector A. Geetha on Wednesday said the list of contacts of patients, suspected to have been infected by the virus, have grown to about 350 and 50 per cent of them are in the high-risk category.
Seeking to allay fears of children at risk of catching the virus at schools, the district collector said there was no need to panic as the government will soon arrange online classes in areas declared ‘containment zones’.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the state Health department issued an alert for Kannur, Wayanad and Malappuram districts after the confirmatin of Nipah infection in Kozhikode.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George told reporters that the Health department got in touch with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and was assured of the availability of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of Nipah patients admitted at a private hospital.
The health department has already issued an alert in Kozhikode following two deaths from Nipah infection.
The samples were sent to the Pune Institute of Virology for confirmation of Nipah even as the administration stepped up containment efforts in the district.
The Health minister informed that the containment operations were launched in advance adding that contact tracing and surveillance operations were also underway in the area.
George held a high-level meeting with the district officials last night to take stock of the situation and adopt necessary measures to check the risk of spread of the virus.
The Health minister, along with Public Works Department Minister Mohammed Riyaz, reached Kozhikode earlier on Tuesday to coordinate the containment measures with the district administration.
An emergency meeting was held with MLAs of the district, people’s representatives of the affected areas, the district collector, senior officials of the health department and other officials in the district.
The Health Minister, earlier, confirmed that the two deaths at a private hospital on Monday in Kozhikode were due to Nipah infection, adding that there are two active cases as of now in the district.
The two suspected Nipah patients are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the district.
Both of them, a nine-year-old child and a 24-year-old person, are relatives of one of the deceased, officials informed. (ANI)