Nipah scare in Kerala: Schools, colleges shut in Kozhikode till Sept 17

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Amid the Nipah virus scare, the Kerala government has extended holidays for schools and colleges in Kozhikode till September 17. The move comes just two days after the state registered two deaths from the deadly virus in Kozhikode.  

As part of precautionary measures, the government has declared holidays for all educational institutions, including anganwadis, madrasas, tuition centers, and professional colleges in Kozhikode.

Earlier, holidays were declared for two days (September 14 and 15). However, university and Public Service Commission (PSC) exam schedules remain unchanged.  The state government has urged educational institutions to arrange online classes. “These days should not be an occasion for celebrations. Avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings. Caution is prevention,” the Kozhikode collector said.

Meanwhile, a five-member central team comprising experts from the National Centre for Disease Control, RML Hospital, and NIMHANS has reached Kozhikode to take stock of the situation.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the principal secretary of the health department held a meeting with the officials who came from Delhi. In the meeting, she said, it was decided to take the samples of all those who were in the high-risk contact group of the first person, the person who died on August 30.

“In hospitals where patients are being treated, they have to form a medical board, and every 12 hours they have to give the details of the patients to the health department,” the health minister said.

George informed that currently, 14 people were in isolation. “They don’t have an epidemiological link with the deceased.” “We have some patients in isolation in private hospitals. 11 have got mild symptoms, so their samples are also being taken and sent to the lab. The infected 9-year-old’s vitals are stable but he is still on ventilation,” she added.

Earlier today, the Kerala government said the monoclonal antibody required for the treatment of those infected by the Nipah virus had arrived in the state.

Meanwhile, the ICMR’s National Institute of Virology in Pune has sent its mobile BSL-3 laboratory to Kozhikode to test samples for the Nipah virus in the district. A team of experts from the Department of Animal Husbandry has also been deployed to assist the state in the surveillance of animals, official sources told PTI.

So far, the brain-damaging virus has killed two people and infected three others in Kozhikode.

(With inputs from agencies)



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