The Ministry of Health Thursday confirmed that six patients who were kept under observation for Nipah virus have tested negative by the National Institute of Virology in Pune. They were admitted to the isolation ward at a government medical college in Ernakulam. There are a total of 314 people, who were in touch with the infected patient, currently under observation.
Kerala’s Health Minister KK Shailaja said, “They have tested negative for Nipah. This indicates that the virus has not spread. It is a matter of big relief for us.”
“Result of the sample of the seventh person is awaited,” she added.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, meanwhile, will chair a meeting later today to take stock of the situation.
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The update comes days after a 23-year-old man in Ernakulam was confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus. Shailaja had said Wednesday that his condition had improved considerably and that he is conscious and has low-grade fever, intermittently.
The youngster’s case came to light a year after 17 people died due to the virus in Kerala. The government had managed to contain the virus last year but was forced to issue a high alert in several districts across the state following the fresh case. In fact, some districts in Karnataka have been put on alert too.
.@drharshvardhan on #NipahVirus in #Kerala: I urge the people not to panic. The situation is under control. I am regularly reviewing the status with the State.#SwasthaBharat@PMOIndia@PIB_India@MIB_India@NITIAayoghttps://t.co/5BUdPY6IJv
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) June 5, 2019
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan urged people not to panic. In a tweet, he said that he is regularly reviewing the status with the state.