State successful in containing Nipah: CM

‘Intensive efforts to trace source of the outbreak’

Though the sudden outbreak of Nipah has come in the middle of the State’s fight against COVID-19, rapid and timely response by the health system is effectively containing the outbreak, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Tuesday.

Detailing the quick response of the health administration and the detailed arrangements made for Nipah-related contact tracing, disease surveillance, diagnosis, and patient care, he said intensive efforts were on to trace the source of Nipah outbreak, which has made its third appearance in the State.

Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said as soon as the Nipah outbreak was confirmed, all follow-up measures fell in place overnight.

None of those on the contact list and under surveillance and isolation, had developed serious symptoms and more sample results were awaited, he said. They would be provided the best of care.

The State had set up a Nipah control room to coordinate all outbreak-related activities. A Nipah management plan was in place and a revised treatment protocol was brought out within hours of the confirmation of the outbreak.

Mr. Vijayan said all districts had been asked to sound an alert and keep a close watch on acute encephalitis syndrome. A Nipah control cell would coordinate with districts and help train all health workers on surveillance and control activities.

The situation with COVID-19 also seemed to be stabilising and the surge in cases witnessed immediately after Onam had now come down.

However, as a highly transmissible virus was in circulation, people still needed to maintain a high degree of vigil, so that the transmission was reduced.

Vaccination was proving to be effective in reducing hospitalisation due to serious disease and death. Only a little over 13% of the active cases was currently in hospitals and there was no significant increase in this figure as had been feared.

Mr. Vijayan said the government was in total concurrence with the Kerala High Court’s direction that the inter-dosage interval of Covishield vaccine be reduced to four weeks. However, it was the Centre’s call and the Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary would be in touch with the Union Health Ministry about this, he said.

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