Nipah outbreak: gathering of field data in progress

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Health workers collect clinical samples and investigate the home of a Nipah virus victim in Kozhikode on Friday.

Health workers collect clinical samples and investigate the home of a Nipah virus victim in Kozhikode on Friday. , Photo Credit: PTI

Rapid response team volunteers of the Health department are on the field gathering data from over 15,000 houses in the containment zones following the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode district. They have so far tracked over 1,000 contacts of the infected persons.

They also keep tabs on all symptomatic patients and those suffering from fever and other related ailments. Isolation and medical examination of those with serious symptoms are done on the input of the field-level squads.

Health workers wearing protective gears shift a man with symptoms of Nipah virus to an isolation ward at a government hospital in Kozhikode in south Indian state of Kerala on September 16, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Health workers wearing protective gears shift a man with symptoms of Nipah virus to an isolation ward at a government hospital in Kozhikode in south Indian state of Kerala on September 16, 2023. (Photo by AFP) | Photo Credit:-

Department sources said the protocol and practices followed during the COVID-19 outbreak helped in quickly deploying the field-level squads. The support of local administrators in critical zones made it easy to quarantine all contacts without hiccups.

Heads of some local bodies categorized as high risk zones said the containment zone regulations were implemented without any delay which helped the department to bring the situation under control. The crowd management initiatives also drew voluntary cooperation of the public.

“We have sought the support of the police also to track the mobile phone location of the infected persons to zero in on more suspected persons on the contact list. Preparations are under way to release route maps on the basis of such data,” said a senior official.

He also said the Health Minister had already announced the same for better coordination at the local level.

With the confirmation of two Nipah cases in the Kozhikode city corporation limits on Friday, regulations were strengthened in the urban area with focus on crowd-control measures.

Police deployment was strengthened to restrict the entry of the public to major tourism destinations and parks. Shopping malls and streets witnessed a huge drop in the number of visitors on Saturday subsequent to the regulations. Masks were also made mandatory by the majority of establishments to encourage preventive measures.

Until further announcements, auctioning and related sales activities will be restricted at the Beypore harbor and fish landing centre. Fishermen will have to depend on the service of other nearby harbors considering the containment zone regulations in and around Cheruvannur. The Beypore port will also be in regulated zones with more restrictions, officials said.

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