Union Minister for Health, J. P. Nadda on Tuesday downplayed the Nipah virus outbreak, assuring that the situation was under control.
“Within 12 hours of the Nipah virus outbreak, a team of doctors reached Kerala, discussed the disease’s management and controlled it in a time-bound manner. Health Ministry and I are personally monitoring the situation. There is no need to panic,” said Nadda.
Earlier, Nadda had claimed that the outbreak of the virus was a result of “tampering with nature”.
Nadda further noted that scientists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital, National Institute of Virology in Pune and doctors from the National Centre for Disease Control are supporting health authorities in Kerala in managing the outbreak.
As many as 16 people lost their lives in Kerala due to the outbreak of the virus in May.
As a precautionary measure, colleges and other educational institutions in Kozhikode have been asked to remain closed till June 12.
Furthermore, the Kerala state health department issued an advisory for people travelling to the state, urging them to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nipah virus, spread by fruit bats, causes communicable disease and is fatal for both animals and humans.
The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion, and can progress to coma within 24-48 hours.