New Delhi [India]: Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya and the Kerala government held a meeting on Sunday regarding Nipah virus surveillance to improve the current situation.
According to sources, at this meeting, the central team provided technical suggestions on surveillance, IEC material, testing, and contact tracing.
“Therapeutic monoclonal antibody shots were offered to the state government for treatment of critical Nipah virus cases. As reviewed on September 17, 2023 by the Union Health Minister and Kerala government, it is unlikely to use Monoclonal Antibodies as eligible patients may not be available,” said sources
The Central teams (ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune; Doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML Hospital), Delhi; National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi; and National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), Chennai) have been coordinating with state and district health authorities in outbreak investigation and containment measures.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is in regular contact with the State and District Authorities and continues to monitor the situation.
The first confirmation of the Nipah virus outbreak was reported on September 11, and six confirmed cases have been reported.
A total of 1,233 contacts have been traced, of which 352 have been classified as ‘high risk’ contacts that includes 129 healthcare workers, and 142 samples have been collected so far for testing as per the directions given by the government of India.
Earlier, Mandaviya on Sunday said that several cases of Nipah have been found in Kerala and that the world’s first Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) lab is assisting the testing of the virus in the state.
While speaking to the media, the Health Minister said, “Several cases of Nipah have been found in Kerala. the Centre has sent a team immediately to investigate it. The world’s first Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) lab will assist with the testing in Kerala. BSL-3 is arranged inside a bus. An expert team is also present in Kerala and is prepared to deal with any kind of situation.”