A chartered flight carrying medical supplies that will help the fight against Nipah has been sent to the Kerala Government by UAE-based health provider, VPS Healthcare.
The flight arrived in Calicut late Friday and contained N95 masks, three-layers masks, body bags, PPE kits and PPE kits with N95 specifications, VPS said in a statement.
The deadly Nipah virus has claimed 17 lives till date and the total number of persons tested positive for Nipah in Kozhikode now stands at 18. Suspecting a second wave of the infection, authorities in Kerala have scaled up the number of people under observation for Nipah to over 1,400.
The state health department is also widening the area for ‘contact list’ of people at risk and is also raising large health squads with help from panchayat officials to individually monitor people. With these steps, the need for personnel and medical supplies is expected to rise significantly.
“We commend the Kerala Government and the health authorities for their diligence in helping control the spread of this virus. As health professionals, it is our responsibility to help in any capacity the State needs. We will continue to work with the Kerala government to help eradicate the threat posed by the Nipah virus, said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director at VPS Healthcare. His actions are a response the call of the minister of Kerala, KK Shailaja Teacher.
Nipah virus – which can be transferred from animals to humans – causes fever and cold-like symptoms, before quickly advancing to encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. There is no vaccine or cure for Nipah at present.