The 12-year-old boy who passed away on Sunday, September 5 due to the Nipah virus infection in Keralaâ€™s Kozhikode district was laid to rest at the Kannambarath Khabaristan by Health Department officials adhering to complete health protocols. State Health Minister Veena George confirmed the death earlier on Sunday. The officials, clad in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, performed the last rites. Only a few close relatives of the boy wearing similar gear were in attendance. The Kozhikode corporation health staff sanitised the entire area after the rituals were completed. Later, the body was buried in a specially prepared 12-foot grave.
The boy, who hailed from nearby Mavoor, died of Nipah at a hospital in the wee hours on Sunday. Samples from the boy, which were sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, confirmed the presence of the virus. Local authorities have geared up to check the further spread of the virus in Kozhikode and surrounding areas.
The state Health Department stepped up vigil after the presence of the virus was confirmed in the district. According to Minister Veena George, 158 people have been traced from the contact list of the boy, of which 20 people are in the high-risk group and have been shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital. A Nipah ward has been set up at the Hospital for isolating those who are symptomatic and for treatment if they test positive. Two health workers who had come in contact with the boy are symptomatic, the minister said.
This is the third time that Kerala has reported the Nipah virus. The first outbreak, reported in 2018 in Kozhikode district, claimed 17 lives. In 2019, a 23-year-old man admitted to a private hospital in Kochi was confirmed to have contracted the virus. However, at that time the virus wasnâ€™t transmitted further and the man recovered.
(With PTI inputs)