All 8 samples test negative for Nipah, says Veena George

Veena George I Screengrab: Mathrubhumi News

Kozhikode: Giving a big relief to the health authorities of Kerala, the eight samples that were sent to Pune Virology Institute had turned negative. The samples of the family, including the mother and father, was also found to be negative.

The minister said that it is a big relief to know that persons in very close contact had turned negative. The state had sent three samples of eight people who had direct contact with 12-year-old Mohammed Hashim who died of the Nipah virus on Sunday.

"The samples of parents and healthcare workers, who were symptomatic, have been tested negative. It's a moment of relief that the results of those who were in close contact with the child came out negative," the minister said at a press meet.

George said there are currently 48 people in the high risk category who are at a medical college isolation ward and their health condition is "stable".

More samples will also be tested today. Five samples are being tested in the lab set up jointly by NID Pune and Medical College at Kozhikode Medical College. However, the result of these tests will take some time.

Currently, there are 48 people in the high-risk category admitted to the medical college. Of these, 8 samples were tested and the samples of five other people are being examined. The minister said samples of the entire people under observation would be tested.

Veena George said the facilities and other allied systems for testing Nipah virus has been set up at a lab in Kozhikode Medical College.

The lab was set up in a short time due to the coordinated efforts of NIV Pune, NIV Alappuzha and Kozhikode Medical College. The testing kits, reagent and allied apparatus were brought from NIVs due to prompt intervention of the health department. Similarly, personnel from these three institutions have been imbibed to Medical College for the testing of Nipah virus. Meanwhile, the health minister said that RT-PCR test and Point of Care Testing will be conducted in the lab.

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