‘We overcame nipah, we will overcome coronavirus’: Kerala health minister
Kerala health minister K K Shailaja said the government would strictly enforce quarantine periods to prevent the virus from spreading.Updated: Feb 02, 2020, 11:54 IST
Kerala health minister K K Shailaja on Sunday said that there was no need to panic after a second person tested positive for coronavirus in the state and that the government would overcome the challenges like it did with the nipah virus two years ago.
“A high alert is needed but there is no need for panic. Isolation is the best medicine now. Both cases are stable,” she said at a press conference shortly after the Union health ministry in a statement confirmed the second positive coronovirus case in Kerala.
Shailaja said the second patient who returned from Wuhan on January 24, is a medical student.
“The second patient is in isolation ward of the Alappuzha medical college hospital. Medical authorities have asked people not to roam around in hospitals and interact with any patients for the time being,” she said.
The first patient, a woman, is in an isolation ward in the Thrissur medical college hospital.
She also said the government would strictly enforce quarantine periods to prevent the virus from spreading. “People who are on home quarantine have been asked not to come out for 28 days. The government will implement will it strictly,” she said.
Shailaja said she was not surprised by the two patients who tested positive for coronavirus.
“Such a situation was expected as thousands of students from the state study in China…. Isolation and proper rest are the best way to contain it,” she said.
The minister cited how Kerala had effectively contained an outbreak of another dangerous virus ‘nipah’ two years ago and stressed that it would do the same with coronavirus.
“Nipah was most dangerous and still we contained it effectively. The state will overcome the present situation,” she said.
She said there was no need of any stigma over coronavirus because it is like any other contagious viral outbreak. She also underlined that the government would not lower its guard.
The minister also urged the Union health ministry to ensure that tests for cornonavirus are carried out expeditiously and reports are made available quickly.
Shailaja said there will be a medical bulletin later in the evening.
Two years ago, Kerala had effectively contained an outbreak of another dangerous virus ‘nipah’ and initiated many steps for medical emergencies. Seventeen people died in the nipah outbreak in 2018. In 2019, a case was reported but it was contained locally.