Kerala to foot medical bills of all Nipah affected

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 4 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday told an all party meeting here that the government would foot the entire medical bills of all those being treated for the malady at Kozhikode and Malappuram.

He said that the work done by the state’s health professionals in containing the disease’s spread after its outbreak was really encouraging and showed their commitment and dedication. This quick containment has not happened in countries where this virus attack had hit in the past, he added.

“What we have found out is that its due to the effective intervention and the work of these health professionals that the spread of Nipah virus has been contained. Now there need be no fear or panic. The state government will bear all the expenses of these patients who underwent treatment for Nipah,” said Vijayan.

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The Kerala government also decided to distribute special food kits also as Kozhikode turned out to be the worst affected with 13 deaths, while three deaths were reported in Malappuram.

Vijayan also came down heavily on the mischief played by some elements on social media, terming it was most unwarranted and unpardonable.

As of date, of the 18 positive cases, 16 have died and the remaining two are recovering well at the Kozhikode hospital while the around 2,000 people, who have reported to have come in contact with the affected, are being monitored.

Earlier in the day, on the opening day of the assembly session. opposition legislator P. Abdullah from Kozhikode walked into the floor of the assembly wearing a mask and gloves, which invited immediate criticism from Vijayan and Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who both termed his show an insult to the efforts of the state government.

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But intervening in the issue, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that this was done as Abdullah just wanted to express his solidarity with the people of Kozhikode and it was not an insult.

Meanwhile the Veterinary Association has said that they will approach the Central government with a request that they are interested to do an epidemiological study on the outbreak of Nipah in Kozhikode and should receive support.

“This study is a time-consuming one besides involving a substantial sum of money to conduct the study, as each area has to be mapped and detailed studies have to be done. We are willing to do it and for that we need the support,” said the association’s Mohan Kumar.

–IANS

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