68 primary contacts free of Nipah virus as 7 more samples turn negative: Kerala health minister Veena George
Kerala health minister Veena George on Thursday said that seven more samples have tested negative for the Nipah virus, taking the total number of people tested negative so far to 68. All contacts have been tested for the infection after they were found to be in close contact with a 12-year-old boy who lost his life to the disease on Sunday last week. The people currently in isolation due to the fear of the disease were at the Kozhikode Medical College in the state.
The minister further said that no “unnatural fever or death” were found after a house to house survey in Chathamangalam village in Kozhikode.
“7 more samples of people in isolation (for possible cases of Nipah virus) at Kozhikode Medical College turned negative today. A total of 68 samples tested negative. House-to-house survey conducted in Chathamangalam,no unnatural fever or death [were] reported,” news agency ANI quoted the health minister as saying.
Earlier in the day, George confirmed that 15 reports came negative and the total number of people who tested negative for Nipah stood at 61. With seven more new negatives, the total now reached 68. As many as 274 primary contacts of the victim (the 12-year-old boy) have been identified so far, she said, adding that all of them were being observed. The list also included 149 healthcare workers and 47 people from other districts outside Kozhikode. While seven people were found exhibiting mild symptoms of fever, the health conditions of all people under observation was stable, the minister also said.
Following the first case on September 5, the area within a three-kilometre radius of the victim’s residence was declared as a containment zone by the state, wherein the house-to-house survey was conducted. George said that the survey did not find any unforeseen illness or deaths and called it good news. However, 89 people with no history of contact with the victim had also shown minor symptoms of fever during the survey. Their samples would be collected for testing and mobile labs would be used for the same.
On the Covid-19 front, Kerala saw no respite as 26,200 new infections of the disease were logged on the day while 114 more people died. So far, 4,309,694 people have been infected with the coronavirus and the death toll was recorded at 22,126, a bulletin from the state health department showed. The state currently has 236,345 active cases of the disease.