As it is confirmed that the 23-year-old student, treated for high fever in a hospital at Cochin is affected by the Nipah virus, the state government is all set to fight the situation. The student, whose age has not been made public, was hospitalized with high fever in Kochi 10 days ago, health minister K.K. Shylaja had told reporters after a review meeting at Kalamassery Medical College on Tuesday.
The government has opened isolation wards at medical colleges in three districts where the patient’s movements have been traced — Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Thrissur.
The student had travelled with a group of 22 students from Idukki to a company in Thrissur for an internship programme. After the programme, the student went back to his house.
With his fever showing no signs of abating, he was admitted to a private hospital in Ernakulam. It is from here that his samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Alleppey and Pune.
The Health Minister also added that two nurses who treated the patient in the hospital have also complained of slight discomfort in their throat. “We have started giving them the necessary treatment as well,” she said.
In a Facebook post, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was closely monitoring the situation. Kerala’s health network was capable of handling any emergency, he said. He urged people to follow the Health department’s instructions.
“There is a need to be cautious, but it is not a cause for panic,” he said. A series of measures had been ramped up to tackle the problem, he said; contact tracing, case isolation, quality care and community engagement were being done diligently. He also asked people to be careful against spreading rumours through social media.