With 10 deaths due to the deadly Nipah virus being reported so far from northern Kerala, the state government today issued an advisory, asking travellers to avoid visiting the four districts of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur.
“Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe. However, if travellers wish to be extra cautious, they may avoid the four districts”, Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said.
The government has also called for an all-party meeting at Kozhikode on May 25 to disucss the issue. MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people and leaders of various political parties would attend the meeting, health minister K. K. Shylaja on Tuesday said.
Ten people have lost their lives to Nipah in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts so far and 19 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, including one in Waynad. Of the 13 confirmed cases, 10 persons have died.
Isolation wards have also been set up in Thalassery government hospital in Kannur, according to media reports.
In Kozhikode, from where seven deaths have been reported, District
Collector U V Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth,
Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna.
The anganwadis is these regions too have been asked to close down to avoid the spread of the virus among children.
However, no decision has been taken yet concerning the reopening of schools after the summer vacation. The administration is hoping that the situation will be under control by the time schools reopen after a week.
“The number of newly infected cases is very low now,” Jose said in a statement. In neighbouring Malappuram, where three persons have died due to the virus,orders have been issued in four panchayats to stop Anganwadi classes for the time being.
A crisis management group has been constituted to coordinate the response of government agencies following the deaths in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.