COVID-19 India News Kerala

Relief as high-risk contacts of deceased Nipah victim test negative

Around 251 people who were in direct or indirect contact of the Nipah victim were tested for the virus, reports Asian Lite News

All the eight samples of those who were the primary contacts of the 12-year-old boy, who died due to Nipah virus, have turned out negative, said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.

The samples of the boy’s parents and the health professionals who came in close contact with the boy while being in treatment are all negative. Three samples of each of the eight people were tested at NIV Pune,” said George.

It was on Sunday the 12-year-old boy died following the Nipah virus attack and it was not until he was taken to three different hospitals in a period of 10 days.

Soon after the boy tested positive for Nipah, the health department got into action and identified around 251 people who were in direct or indirect contact. From that list, 54 were short-listed as high risk contacts and of these eight samples, who showed symptoms of fever, were sent for testing at the NIV Pune lab.

Others, who had no symptoms, have been asked to go into isolation and they continue to be in isolation in three districts — Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram.

A central team of health officials besides a team from NIV Pune are now at Kozhikode and along with the Kerala Health officials are overseeing all the activities and by now 317 health professionals have been given training in handling Nipah, in case an emergency arises.

A team of Kerala Veterinary officials are also camping in the district overseeing examination of animals, especially the bats, which are considered to be the source of infection and for that samples have been also collected and send for examination.

Meanwhile, the ICMR officials have promised a fresh supply of monoclonal antibodies from Australia, which is expected to reach Kozhikode in the coming days and this is used for treatment.

The state health department has set up a separate laboratory for primary testing facility, besides opening a full-fledged Nipah ward at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital as a matter of beefing up the treatment facilities.

A statewide Nipah management treatment plan has also been formulated and this is being done with the help of the Centre.

The last time the state had an attack of Nipah was in 2018, when 17 people lost their lives.

TN to screen passengers from Kerala

The Tamil Nadu Health Department has commenced stringent monitoring of people reaching the state from Kerala after a 12-year-old boy from Kozhikode died of the Nipah virus attack.

The state health department had given guidelines to district collectors and district health officers in districts bordering Kerala to ensure strict vigil at all the check posts. The state has also constituted full-fledged medical teams at the borders with a heavy police posse guarding the check posts.

The District health officers of Kanyakumari, Theni, Tenkasi, Nilgiris, Coimbatore, and Tiruppur were instructed to ensure that screening teams were deployed on all roads bordering Kerala. They are instructed to collect blood samples, throat swabs, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples of those who are showing symptoms of fever. All the passengers who enter the state from Kerala are subjected to fever checkups with fever surveillance clinics being set up in the medical facilities at the borders.

Rajan Warrier, an employee in a private company in Coimbatore said that he was subject to a fever checkup at Walayar border. He said, “A full medical team is present at the Walayar border and I was subjected to fever monitoring. Those who show slight signs of Nipah or allied symptoms are subjected to throat swab check, urine check, blood sample, and CSF checking before being allowed to Tamil Nadu. I am an employee of a private company and once a week, I go home to Palakkad on my two-wheeler and return after two days’ holidays on Saturday and Sunday.”

Coimbatore district collector, G.S. Sameeran was monitoring the fever surveillance at the Walayar check post.

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US corporates all set to help Covid-hit India

Blinken , American businesses leaders, the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-India Business Council held talks on assistance towards India fight against Covid19…reports Asian Lite News

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US pointpersons for Covid-19 relief have met with business leaders to discuss mobilising the private sector to help efforts in India to fight the pandemic, according to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.

Blinken held a virtual meeting on Monday with leaders of American businesses, the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-India Business Council “to discuss how the US and India can leverage the expertise and capabilities of the US private sector to support urgent Covid-19 relief efforts in India,” Price said.

Blinken was accompanied by the Coordinator for Global Covid Response and Health Security, Gayle Smith, and the National Security Council Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, at the meeting.

They gave the business representative an update on US assistance and welcomed coordinating the assistance efforts with US industry, Price said.

The USIBC tweeted after the meeting that the US businesses are mobilising to meet the critical needs in India.

In a tweet, Blinken called the meeting “productive” and said they discussed how the US and India can leverage the expertise and capabilities of the US private sector to meet the Covid-19 crisis.

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