Minister calls Health team heroes of Nipah challenge

Health Minister K. K. Shylaja speaking at a workshop on Nipah experience-sharing at Government Medical College, Ernakulam, on Sunday.

Health Minister K. K. Shylaja speaking at a workshop on Nipah experience-sharing at Government Medical College, Ernakulam, on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Spl

Shylaja recalls days of Nipah scare at a workshop

Calling the Health team the heroes of the Nipah challenge, both in Kozhikode last year and in Ernakulam this year, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja spoke on each aspect of how the killer disease outbreak unfolded last year, the lessons learnt and how the experience stood in good stead to keep the Nipah infection to a single person this year.

The outbreak in the district was reported on June 3 and it was declared Nipah-free on July 23.

The Minister was speaking at a Nipah experience-sharing workshop held at the Government Medical College, Ernakulam, on Sunday.

“The challenge last year was that we had to create protocols just as many cases were getting reported as the virus got identified,” said the Minister. Both the public and private sectors worked in tandem to tackle the deadly virus. “There are many names that came to my mind, both from the private and public sector, as we went about setting the protocols. The first step was contact tracing; then came the task of stopping people from migrating to another place; putting the contacts on home quarantine and handling dead bodies were some of the tasks that were done as immediately as possible. It was not a time to be fearful, but to take the challenge head on,” she said.

“We were told that the death toll could be around 200. The fact that we limited it to 17, including the index case, is the victory of the Health team.”

“At the end of it all, we were also told that we should be expecting another attack too. That certainly was a heart-breaking information, but we took the challenge, to be prepared this year. I was happy to know that some of the private hospitals, including Aster Medcity, which treated the only case reported in Ernakulam, also had done a mock drill of the infection.”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 10:13:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/minister-calls-health-team-heroes-of-nipah-challenge/article28816821.ece

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