In the wake of Nipah virus outbreak, the Kerala Public Service Commission (KPSC) decided to postpone the examinations conducted by the commission till June 16. The official statement reads, ‘due to the Nipah outbreak in Malappuram and Kozhikode, Kerala PSC postpones all OMR and online examinations scheduled till June 16.’ The new dates for the examinations will be announced later. Moreover, Kerala government has decided to not conduct any public programmes in Kozhikode after the outbreak of Nipah virus. Malappuram is a neighbouring district of Kozhikode. The examination for civil police officer/wcpo-police department which was scheduled for May 26 is also postponed. Meanwhile, on May 24, University of Calicut announced the postponement of all examinations listed for that week. According to local reports, many educational institutions in the state including the colleges of Malappuram and Kozhikode districts are expected to be opening on June 5.
However, even the incidence of fresh cases in Kerala has come down, authorities claim things are under control and the Union government maintains virus outbreak is a localised occurrence and there is no need to panic, fear runs high across the country.
Panic gripped Himachal Pradesh when several bats were found dead at Government School in Sirmaur district last week. However, tests at the National Institute of Virology in Pune ruled out that the bats were carrying Nipah virus.
Several states have issued a warning for public information, including the national capital. Bihar government issued Nipah virus alert on May 26, asking people to take precautions. An advisory was also issued to people with the dos and don’ts as preventive measures.
The authorities in Kerala have come out with a protocol to be carried out when the last rite of Nipah victims is performed. While cremation is favoured as the best method to stop further spread of infection, in case families opt for burial, the body would have to be covered in a polythene bag and then put into a deep pit.