KOZHIKODE: A day after four persons in the district -including two deceased — were confirmed as Nipah-infected, a healthcare worker at a private hospital also tested positive for the infection on Wednesday. The 24-year-old health worker tested positive in tests conducted at National Institute of Virology, Pune, according to health minister Veena George.W ith this, the number of Nipahpatients under treat ment in the district has risen to three, the other two being the nine-year-old son and 25-year-old brother-in-law of the first deceased person, the index case, who died on August 30.The authorities are awaiting the results of 11 more samples.
Meanwhile, the number of contacts of the infected persons traced by the health de partment rose to 789. A highlevel meeting convened by CM Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram has asked Kozhikode district collector to prevent crowding in public places. All public functions in the district will be avoided till September 24 and masks have been made compulsory.

The health department has published route maps of the two Nipah victims to help track all those who have come into contact with them.

According to officials, the male healthcare worker had come into contact with Mohammedali while he sought treatment at the private hospital. His sample was sent to NIV, Pune after he developed symptoms on Tuesday. He had been under isolation at the private hospital itself and would now be shifted to Kozhikode medical college hospital. The sample of another healthcare worker from the same hospital, which was sent to Pune NIV, tested negative.
District collector A Geetha said 13 persons, including four persons who are under intensive care, had been admitted to the medical college hospital. As many as 75 isolation rooms have been set up at the hospital. Arrangements have also been made to enhance the isolation facilities at hospitals.

Two experts from epidemiology centre of ICMR, Chennai have reached the district while the team from NIV, Pune is expected to arrive on Thursday. The team from NIV, Pune will set up BSLLevel 3 lab, which will facilitate speedy testing of samples in the district itself.
The district collector said the monoclonal antibody medicine for treatment of Nipah-positive cases would reach the district by 2am on Thursday. Police and local body institutions have started enforcing containment zones in declared wards in nine panchayats by imposing travel restrictions and putting up barricades. The number of containment zones was increased from 43 to 58 on Wednesday. Efforts are on to arrange online classes for students of schools falling within the containment zones.
Principal secretary (health) Mohammed Hanish convened a meeting at the district collectorate to review the functioning of various core committees. It was decided to strengthen the functioning of the control room by including more house surgeons.
Adental college student who reported mild fever and suspected exposure to bats is under observation at Thiruvananthapuram MCH. Authorities said he was not a Nipah suspect and the isolation was only part of the protocol. His samples have been sent for tests.

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