Nipah Virus Scare: Union govt assures all support to Kerala

    The union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke to the Health Minister of Kerala, K. K. Shailaja, and discussed the current situation, assuring all support from the central government

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    New Delhi: Following confirmation of a suspect case of Nipah Virus Disease by National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, an urgent meeting of top officials was convened by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan at New Delhi.

    The meeting was attended by Ms Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare (HFW), Dr Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Directorate of Health Research (DHR), Mr Sanjeeva Kumar, Addl. Secretary (H), Dr S. Venkatesh, Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr Sujeet K Singh, Director, National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and Dr Gangakhetkar, Scientist G and Head ECD, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

    The union health minister spoke to the Health Minister of Kerala, K. K. Shailaja, and discussed the current situation, assuring all support from the central government.

    The health ministry has deployed a central team with six officers for epidemiological investigation protocol, contact tracing for early detection of suspects, testing protocols for suspects and review of isolation facilities.

    A Control room has been established and NCDC Strategic Health Operations Center (SHOC) activated. The phone number of control room is number 011-23978046. A team from National Institute of Virology, Pune (ICMR) with Monoclonal Antibodies is being sent to Ernakulam.

    The union health ministry has also dispatched a team from NIV for testing bats for Nipah virus. Dr Harsh Vardhan has also spoken to DG Forest to extend all cooperation in this regard.

    The State has already initiated the actions including contact tracing and surveillance; Standard capacity building for health functionaries, ambulance fleet drivers and others; Infection control activities in hospitals, Dedicated trained teams to handle cases; Rapid Response Teams at institutions, Help desk at Medical College Ernakulam has been established.

    The dedicated trained doctors, nurses, and paramedics have been kept at hospitals. Vigil has been activated in all districts of the state besides the awareness generation.