Nipah update: Kerala government withdraws restrictions imposed after virus outbreak in Kozhikode

The government has also withdrawn containment in all zones and allied restrictions imposed in the northern Kozhikode district.

BySouth First Desk

Published Sep 27, 2023 | 11:49 AMUpdatedSep 27, 2023 | 11:49 AM

Health Minister Veena George and Kozhikode collector A Geetha at the review meeting of Nipah outbreak

With the Nipah outbreak seemingly contained ad no fresh cases being reported for 11 days, Kozhikode District Collector A Geetha has announced all schools falling within the containment zones would be opened from Wednesday, 27 September.

In a Facebook post, the collector said, regular classes would be resumed.

The Kerala government has also withdrawn containment in all zones and allied restrictions imposed in northern Kozhikode district as no new cases of Nipah virus have been reported here since 16 September.

On Monday, educational institutions, including Anganwadis, commenced regular classes. However, educational institutions in containment zones remained closed as a precautionary measure.

Also read: ICMR permits Kerala to conduct Truenat portable tests

Return to normalcy

The collector urged people to continue their vigil against the virus infection, maintain social distancing and ensure the use of masks and sanitisers.

The district administration advised students to wear masks and carry hand sanitisers when going to their respective educational institutions.

All the institutions in the district had been closed since 14 September, and online classes were being held after the virus outbreak was declared in the state on 12 September.

The people in the northern district have also resumed their normal schedule even though they remained cautious, and most of them wore facemasks. The busy markets in the town, including SM Street, are returning to normalcy.

‘Second wave can’t be ruled out’

With no new positive cases being reported, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the Nipah outbreak reported from Kozhikode district is now under control.

He added, however, that the threat of the infectious disease in the state is not over yet. At present, it is not possible to rule out the chance of a second wave of the Nipah outbreak, he said.

It cannot be said that the threat of Nipah is completely over, but it is a relief that the disease has not spread among more people, the chief minister told reporters at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, 19 September, after a review meeting.

“A Nipah review meeting was held today. Health experts are of the opinion that the possibility of a second wave is very remote but cannot be completely ruled out,” he said.

Noting that the state health system could effectively prevent the spread of the deadly virus, he said that early detection of the virus averted a dangerous situation.

Also read: Kerala government working to identify area, source of index case

Outbreak

A total of six people were confirmed to have been infected by the virus to date, and of them, two died.

Of the two deaths, the first person who died on 30 August, was found to be the index case, or patient zero, from whom others caught the infection.

As of 24 September, the number of people under observation was 915, but none of them were in the high-risk category, health authorities said.

The number of samples tested till then was 377, and the number of negative results was 363, they added.

The last Nipah-positive case reported in the state was on 15 September.

Earlier, Chief Minister Vijayan said that though the spread of the infection was under control, even the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) could not explain why Nipah cases were being reported from northern Kozhikode.

(With PTI inputs)