Kerala’s Nipah virus outbreak has been nothing less than distressing for people across Kerala, given the fact that the death toll has been increasing. However, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s Facebook post this morning is one that brings out the positive side of battling a severe medical crisis with a positive spirit. In his Facebook post, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan thanks Uttar Pradesh’s Dr. Kafeel Khan and all doctors for coming forward and offering their services to contain the Nipah virus. The Facebook post also highlights how doctors like Dr. Kafeel Khan and many Malayali doctors as well as health professionals are coming forward, disregarding the health hazards, to serve those who have been affected by the Nipah virus.
The Kerala Chief Minister’s Facebook post in Malayalam reads as follows,
“After the outbreak of the Nipah virus, there were reports that Uttar Pradesh’s Dr. Kafeel Khan has offered to render his services to serve those who are affected. Disregarding the health hazards and the risks to their own life, so many doctors and medical health professionals have come forward to serve affected people. I see Dr. Kafeel Khan as one among them. For all these doctors, their love for fellow human beings is what stands out foremost in their actions. Not just doctors, but many health personnel and individuals have offered their services. At a time like this, the state government welcomes the expertise of doctors like Dr. Kafeel Khan and they are most welcome to get in touch with the Health Ministry and the Kozhikode Medical College authorities to proceed further.
Several Malayali doctors, medical and health professionals have offered their expertise and have already reached Kozhikode to render their services. I thank all Malayalis for reaching out at this time.”
In earlier Facebook posts also, Kerala Chief Minister had categorically stated that the state government has been tackling the Nipah virus issue with utmost seriousness.
The Chief Minister’s earlier FB post in Malayalam expressed key insights on the Nipah virus outbreak as follows, “The outbreak of Nipah virus in Kozhikode district and other places is of grave concern for this Government and we are taking comprehensive measures to save the lives of those who have been infected and contain the spread of this infection so that it does not spread to others. Kerala’s Health Minister as well as Labour Minister are camped at Kozhikode to closely supervise how the treatment processes are being conducted. The samples collected from the 4 persons who died earlier were sent to the National Virology Institute for further analysis. Three deaths have been confirmed due to Nipah virus infection. More suspected samples were sent and we have not yet received report regarding the same.
The first occurrence of death suspected to have been caused by the Nipah Virus was brought to our attention on 19th May. Given the unusual and complicated nature of the Nipah virus deaths, we had immediately reached out to inform the Ministry of Health at the Centre as well as the World Health Organisation. Based on the state’s request, the Centre has sent its medical team of experts and they have reached Kozhikode to strengthen the efforts to contain the Nipah virus. The state government is working closely with the Centre’s medical team of experts and co-operating to contain the Nipah virus from spreading further. Instructions have been sent to all private hospitals not to deny treatment to patients who are infected with fever.
The Nipah virus spread has mostly been confined to Kozhikode but we have directed the Health Ministry to stay alert for any reports across the state.
There is no need for the public to panic. The Health Ministry is taking all stringent measures to contain the infection from spreading and I request all to stand together as one in tackling this challenge.”
Given that the Nipah virus is known to be hosted by fruit bats, social media has been abuzz with speculation on the same. However, local news reports in Kerala indicate that Kerala’s animal husbandry department has not yet confirmed whether fruit bats are responsible for the fatal deaths of 4 people in Perambra in Kozhikode.