Minister says virus ‘localised’, asks people not to panic.
New Delhi: Union minister of state for health Ashwini Choubey on Thursday said the outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala is a “localised” occurrence and people need not panic, amid reports of dead bats being found on the premises of a government school in Himachal Pradesh.
He said the dead bats have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for investigation.
“Samples of dead bats have been sent for testing to NIV, Pune, to ascertain the reason behind their deaths. Without laboratory reports it cannot be said that these bats have been killed by Nipah virus,” Mr Choubey said, adding that he has already spoken to the Himachal Pradesh administration over the matter.
The administration in Nahan sub-division of Sir-maur district in Himachal Pradesh has geared up to curb spread of the virus, and a special meeting of officials from different departments were held.
Meanwhile, a senior health ministry official said the death toll due to outbreak of Nipah rose to 12 in the southern state of Kerala, with one more person succumbing to the deadly virus in Kozhikode this morning.
According to the ministry, of the 12 deaths so far due to the virus, nine people died in Kozhikode district and three in Mall-appuram. Besides, about 160 samples have been sent for testing at the virology institute. Eighteen people with specific symptoms are admitted at hospitals in Kozhikode.