The Kerala state government launched a special outpatient department (OPD) service under its e-Sanjeevini telemedicine system to fight the spread of the Nipah virus in the state’s Kozhikode district. The launch of the OPD service will focus on fighting against Nipah, said Kozhikode District Collector (DC) A Geetha. In a Facebook post, she said the new service would help address all doubts related to Nipah and those showing symptoms of infection can seek medical assistance without having to go to a doctor, reported news agency PTI.
The collector said that the e-Sanjeevni Nipah OPD service will be made available from 8 AM to 5 PM to people in the region. The e-Sanjeevani platform is a system where people can seek treatment from the comfort of their homes without even visiting the hospital.
Geetha also stated that services of specialist doctors will also be available to people every day besides the regular OP.
Commenting on the Nipah outbreak, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also said the Center has already sent a team of experts to study and immediately investigate rising cases of Nipah in Kerala. Speaking to reporters, he also added that the team is prepared to deal with any kind of situation.
#WATCH | Several cases of Nipah have been found in Kerala. Immediately to investigate it, the Center has sent a team. Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) has been also sent there, BSL-3 is arranged inside a bus…expert team is present there(Kerala) and is prepared to deal with any kind of… pic.twitter.com/GD504DJpI5
— ANI (@ANI) September 17, 2023
Meanwhile, the DC also asked people to exercise caution and not to fear bats or attack them. She highlighted reports of attacks on bats in the district wherever they are the cause of the Nipah outbreak.
In a separate Facebook post, the Collector also said people should not be frightening bats by throwing stones at them or making loud noises by bursting firecrackers, setting fire to their roots and cutting down trees they inhabit.
She cautioned that when the bats infected with Nipah are harmed, frightened or moved from their habitat, the level of the virus in their body increases due to stress.
The collector asked everyone to understand the seriousness of the situation and act responsibly, saying that people need to get used to living cautiously beside bats without fearing them, reported PTI.
Kerala Reports No Fresh Nipah Positive Case
In a big relief for Kerala, no fresh Nipah positive cases were reported on Sunday as a total of 42 samples tested negative. . All of them were samples of persons in the high-risk contact list, reported PTI.
State Health Minister Veena George, while speaking to reporters on Sunday, said test results of more samples are awaited and may be available. later during the day.
George said the incubation period of the virus is 21 days and therefore, "a double incubation period of 42 days from the last positive case" is considered as the period during which caution has to be exercised.
She further said police will help in contact tracing of persons who may have been in the area visited by those infected. The minister was quoted as saying by PTI: "So we will seek police help to get their mobile tower locations. It is only being done to plug the gaps in the contact tracing.”