Friday, September 24, 2021

Centre asks Kerala Govt to strengthen hospital, community based surveillance to contain outbreak of Nipah Virus

The Centre has suggested to the Kerala Government that both the hospital-based and community-based surveillance needs to be strengthened in view of Nipah virus. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to Kerala Chief Secretary recommending measures to be taken in wake of the outbreak in Kozhikode, based on a report submitted by a Central team that visited the district. He said, awareness needs to be created among the field formations for early detection of cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome or Respiratory Distress and risk communicated to the public.

In the letter, Mr Bhushan suggested that active search for cases need to be undertaken in the containment area, as per the micro-plan provided by the Central team. The Health Secretary said, the nearby districts of Kannur, Malappuram and Wayanad need to be alerted. He said, the District Authorities must identify primary and secondary contacts and prepare line listings of high risk and low risk contacts. All high risk contacts may be moved to identified facility quarantine and observed for symptoms.

In accordance with the request of the State Government, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research has initiated action to establish point of care testing at Virus Research and Diagnostic Lab in Kozhikode. Government Medical College, Kozhikode has been identified as the Treatment Centre. The Centre has asked to earmark an adequate number of single room isolation facilities and negative pressure ICU. A referral system to be established along with earmarked ambulances and trained staff.

The Health Secretary said, adequate stock of anti-viral drug Ribaverin and Personal Protective Equipments need to be maintained at the district level. He said, ICMR is exploring the feasibility of getting appropriate monoclonal antibodies for treatment purposes.

The Centre said, a 24 x 7 Control Room needs to be set up for daily reporting and sharing information with the media. Coordination with the Animal Health and WildLife Department and other field officers may be initiated to trap and collect samples from fruit bats for virological studies and other associated measures.

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