Nipah Virus: After two patients died and two others got infected due to ‘Nipah’ virus infection in Kozhikode district of northern Kerala, the state government has taken strict measures to stop the spread of the virus. In view of the serious nature of the infection, the Kozhikode administration has declared seven gram panchayats as containment zones. In a post on social networking site ‘Facebook’ on Tuesday, Kozhikode District Magistrate A Geetha said that the panchayats which have been declared as containment zones include Atancherry, Maruthonkara, Tiruvallur, Kuttiady, Kayakkodi, Vilaypalli and Kavilumpara.
Risk of infection from animal to human
However, amidst all this, let us tell you that there is a risk of infection of this virus from animal to human. It is said that this virus spreads to humans through bats. However, it is also believed that it can spread through pigs, dogs, cats, horses and possibly even sheep. If a person has been infected with Nipah virus, he can infect others as well. Meaning, because of one, other people can also get infected. This virus is considered less infectious but more deadly.
No inbound and outbound travel will be allowed
The District Magistrate said that no travel in and out of these prohibited areas will be allowed till further notice and the police have been instructed to cordon off these areas. He said that only shops selling essential commodities and medical supplies will be allowed to operate in the prohibited areas. According to the District Magistrate, shops selling essential goods in these areas can be opened from 7 am to 5 pm, whereas no time limit has been set for the operation of medicine shops and health centres.
Restriction on stopping of passing buses or vehicles
He said that local self-government institutions and village offices can function with minimum staff. The District Magistrate said that banks, other government or semi-government institutions, educational institutions and Anganwadis should not operate in the prohibited areas. He said that the public should use online services and avoid approaching local self-government institutions. According to the District Magistrate, there will be a ban on stopping of buses or vehicles passing through prohibited areas on national highways.
It is mandatory to use mask and sanitizer
He asked regional transport officers and district transport officers to issue instructions in this regard. The District Magistrate said that it will be mandatory for everyone in the prohibited areas to wear masks, follow social distance and use sanitizers. Soon after the confirmation of Nipah virus infection in Kozhikode district, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged people not to panic and take precautions.
Nine year old boy also included among infected patients
He had said, ‘Everyone should strictly follow the instructions of the health department and the police and cooperate fully in following the restrictions.’ Speaking to reporters in Kozhikode on Tuesday, State Health Minister Veena George had said that a nine-year-old boy is also among the patients infected with the virus. He had told that the infection has been confirmed in the testing of three out of five samples.
Nipah virus infection confirmed in relative
George had said, “Apart from the person who died on Monday, the infection has been confirmed in the samples of two other people undergoing treatment, including a nine-year-old boy.” The first person infected with the virus died on August 30. Initially, the cause of her death was considered to be liver cirrhosis, but now the tests conducted on Tuesday in her nine-year-old son and 24-year-old relative have confirmed Nipah virus infection. The man’s son is already in ICU.