Nipah virus: Educational institutions to remain shut till September 24 in Kerala's Kozhikode

07:36PM Sat 16 Sep, 2023

In wake of the rising cases of Nipah virus in Kerala, the state government has extended the school and college holidays till September 24 in Kozhikode district, according to a report by India Today.

The announcement was made after one more case of Nipah virus was confirmed on Friday, taking the total case tally to six. Two people died due to the infection in the latest outbreak.

Earlier, Kozhikode District Collector, A Geetha directed to close all the educational institutions in the district on Thursday and Friday amid the rising cases of the virus. In a Facebook post, the official had said that the schools can arrange online classes for students amid the outbreak.

Meanwhile, India has reached out to Australia for procuring 20 more doses of monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Nipah virus patients, ICMR DG Rajeev Bahl said on Friday.

"We got some doses of monoclonal antibody from Australia in 2018. Currently the doses are available for only 10 patients," Bahl said, adding globally monoclonal antibody has been given to 14 patients infected with Nipah virus outside India and all of them have survived.

The state government raised its guards after Kerala reported its sixth case of thr infection. Meanwhile, a 24-hour control room is being set up in the neighbouring district of Wayanad after the virus outbreak in Kozhikode.

The virus strain seen in the state was the Bangladesh variant that spreads from human to human and has a high mortality rate, though it is less infectious, the government said.

At present, the contact list of confirmed Nipah patients includes 1,080 people, with 130 new additions on Friday. Out of this, 327 people are health workers.

A five-member Central team comprising experts from the National Centre for Disease Control, RML Hospital and NIMHANS has been stationed in Kerala to take stock of the situation and assist the state government in the management of the Nipah infection.

This is the fourth time the viral infection has been confirmed in the state. It was detected in Kozhikode in 2018 and 2021 and in Ernakulam in 2019.

(With inputs from agencies)