Thiruvananthapuram: The state government on Monday announced a series of measures to contain the deadly Nipah virus which has claimed four lives in the state so far. Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said nine patients with suspected symptoms of Nipah were undergoing treatment now. She said there was no need for panic as the government had taken elaborate measures to contain the virus and stepped up monitoring in the affected areas. The central team visited the areas at Perambra in Kozhikode district.
An epidemic cell was constituted in the district and a 24- hour control room has started functioning. A high-level expert team from All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will arrive in Kozhikode district on Tuesday to visit the affected areas and recommend measures. Another team of central animal husbandry department is expected to reach the state to study the situation and collect samples.
Labour Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan, who is camping in the district along with the health minister, has sanctioned `20 lakh for the medical college. The amount will be utilised for buying equipment and putting in place other infrastructure facilities. The food safety department has issued a high alert in the wake of the virus outbreak. The people have been advised to take maximum precaution while consuming fruits, vegetables and drinking water. Special squads have been constituted in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
The squads will conduct inspections of water sources, wells, public taps, ponds, vegetable and fruit stalls, thattukadas, hotels, restaurants, juice shops, all establishments dealing in water and fruits and vegetables. Hotels, restaurants and eating joints have been warned against using contaminated water for cooking. Fruit and vegetable vendors have been directed not to sell damaged fruits and vegetables. The central team has expressed satisfaction over the manner in which the health department responded after Nipah was detected. The team made an on-the- spot assessment of the treatment protocol being followed and the steps being taken to contain the spread of virus.
The experts said multi-departmental efforts were needed to tackle such problems. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was taking all precautionary measures to contain the virus found in parts of Perambra in Kozhikode district. Steps were being taken to save the lives of people affected by the virus and to check its spread to other areas. He asked the people not to panic because of the detection of virus. The National Institute of Virology has confirmed that the deaths of four persons whose samples were sent to it were due to Nipah. The results of other samples are awaited. The chief minister appealed to the people to cooperate with the control and preventive activities being carried out by the government and other agencies....