The UAE had recently banned the import of fruits and vegetables from Kerala.

Andhra urges caution over import of fruits after Nipah Virus outbreak
news Nipah Virus Friday, June 01, 2018 - 19:10

Days after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) banned the import of fruits and vegetables from Kerala following the recent Nipah virus outbreak, the state of Andhra Pradesh is also considering taking similar measures.

Deputy Director of the state’s Department of Horticulture, P Hanumantha Rao said to The New Indian Express, that the state would not be importing hybrid coconut seedlings from Kerala as earlier planned. He further added that the quantity of fruits imported from Kerala was a negligible amount, “but even then we have to exercise steps to prevent the outbreak of the infection here.”

TNM spoke to Rao and asked about this decision. “We are asking traders to be cautious about the material that they are importing from any state,” he said.

When asked if there had been any issues with the material which had been imported from Kerala so far, Rao said, “We haven’t seen or received any complaints regarding the quality of any of the materials imported.”

He further clarified that these measures are now being planned out of concern for the health of the general public, “We are taking all the measures as far as public health is concerned.”

At present, coconut and pepper are the products which are primarily imported into Andhra Pradesh from Kerala.

Fruit bats are the primary hosts for the virus and eating contaminated fruits or date/palm sap has been known to cause the infection. At present, there has been no official confirmation of the source of the outbreak in Kerala, nevertheless, a ban on the import of fruits from the state has been instituted in the UAE.

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