Kozhikode: With two more deaths in the last two days in Kerala's Kozhikode, the death toll from Nipah virus has risen to 16. Health Minister KK Shailaja has also warned of a possible second outbreak. "We have to be very cautious," she said today and added that even though there is no need to panic, as a matter of caution, all possible precautionary steps should be taken.
- Health Minister KK Shailaja that "no need to panic, just be cautious"
- The staff treating Nipah patients who died yesterday sent on leave
- Schools in Kozhikode will re-open from June 5
"We had indicated at the outset itself, there could be a possible second outbreak and the vulnerable are those who would have in come in contact with the affected. All such people have to be closely watched... tests will reveal only at the appropriate time when the symptoms of Nipah virus surface, so all those who have come in direct contact with the earlier affected have to see they get in touch with the special control room set up in Kozhikode," she said.
The staff, including nurses and four doctors of the hospital where the two patients died in the last two days, has been asked to go on leave for a week as a precautionary measure, officials said.
Rasin, 25, who died yesterday, was initially treated at the Balussery hospital. He had first tested negative for Nipah, but later developed symptoms again and was admitted to the hospital where he died yesterday. He is suspected to have contacted it from one of the earlier victims.
After the death of a superintendent of Kozhikode district court complex due to Nipah, the district bar association asked the collector to temporarily put operations on hold. The health minister, however, said that the situation didn't warrant the shutting down of the court, and people who were in contact with the victims are under surveillance.
Schools in Kozhikode will re-open from June 5 whereas schools across the state opened today after summer vacation.
Meanwhile, as part of 'Nipah alert', those who visited Kozhikode Medical College casualty, CT scan room and waiting room on May 14 and the Balussery Taluk Hospital on May 18 have been asked to contact the Nipah cell immediately.
So far, a total of 196 samples have been tested for Nipah, of which 18 have tested positive. Eleven of them have shown symptoms and are under quarantine while about 1,500 suspects are under home quarantine.
Union health ministry has issued a health advisory saying it's localised and there is no need to panic.