2-day holiday in Kerala district following Nipah outbreak; entire state is prone to infections, warns WHO

News Network
September 14, 2023

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Kozhikode, Sept 14: In the wake of the Nipah outbreak in this north Kerala district, a holiday has been declared for all educational institutions here on Thursday and Friday.

The holiday was declared by Kozhikode District Collector A Geetha who in a Facebook post said educational institutions can arrange online classes on the two days for students.

However, there will be no change in university exams schedule, she added.

A 24-year old health worker became Kerala's fifth confirmed Nipah case on Wednesday since its recent outbreak.

Meanwhile, a 24-hour control room was set up in the neighbouring district of Wayanad following the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode. The Wayanad district administration also constituted 15 core committees to lead the prevention and surveillance activities and effectively deal with emergency situations.

The virus strain seen in the state was the Bangladesh variant that spreads from human to human and has a high mortality rate, though it is less infectious, the government said.

The condition of all 76 people who are in the high-risk contact category remains stable, State Health Minister Veena George had said.

The government had also said that 13 others who have mild symptoms are now being monitored in the hospital, and only a 9-year old child - among those infected - is in the Intensive Care Unit.

It had said that monoclonal antibodies have been ordered from ICMR to treat the child. It is the only available anti-viral treatment for Nipah virus infection, though it has not been clinically proven yet.

A review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was also held in the wake of the outbreak of the brain-damaging virus.

The high-level meeting chaired by the CM analysed the situation thoroughly and "we have come to the conclusion that all the possible prevention measures are in place and there is no need to panic," George had said.

The minister had also said the WHO and ICMR studies had found out that the entire state of Kerala is prone to getting such infections, not just Kozhikode.

People living in forest areas have to take the highest precautions, George had said, and added that the latest case of the Nipah virus originated within five kilometres of a jungle area.

Four more wards - three in Villyapally panchayat and one in Purameri panchayat- in Kozhikode district had been declared as containment zones yesterday in addition to those announced on Tuesday.

Considering the serious nature of the disease, the Kozhikode administration had on Tuesday declared seven village panchayats-Atanchery, Maruthonkara, Tiruvallur, Kuttiyadi, Kayakkodi, Villyapalli, and Kavilumpara- as containment zones.

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News Network
June 10,2024

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Bengaluru, Jun 10: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Monday expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for appointing him as Minister of Steel and Heavy Industries in the union government.

The former Karnataka chief minister took oath as the Cabinet Minister in the NDA government headed by Modi on Sunday.

“I am deeply grateful to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri @narendramodi , for appointing me as the Minister of Steel and Heavy Industries in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, in its third consecutive term,” Kumaraswamy posted on ‘X’.

The 64-year-old Vokkaliga leader had earlier made no secret of his desire to become Agriculture Minister.

Kumaraswamy defeated Venkataramane Gowda of the Congress by a margin of 2,84,620 votes in the Mandya Lok Sabha segment.

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News Network
June 7,2024

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President Droupadi Murmu on Friday invited Narendra Modi to form a government at the Centre after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) elected him as the parliamentary party leader. PM Modi met the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan to stake claim to form the government.

Narendra Modi is expected to be sworn in as the Prime Minister for the third time at 6 pm on June 9 (Sunday).

Addressing the media after his meeting with the President, Narendra Modi said that President Murmu gave him the letter to designate him as the Prime Minister and sought details of a suitable time for the swearing-in ceremony. She also sought the list of ministers to take the oath with him, the PM-designate said.

"The NDA meeting was held earlier today, where friends from the alliance have chosen me for this responsibility. All the NDA allies informed the President about this, and the President called me and appointed me as PM-designate. She informed me about the swearing-in ceremony and list of Cabinet ministers. I have informed her that evening of June 9 will be suitable for us," Narendra Modi told reporters.

The NDA, consisting of the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United, and Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena among others, has 293 MPs, comfortably above the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The alliance has submitted its list of MPs to the President today.

Earlier today, the NDA leaders assembled here at the Central Hall of the old Parliament Building. Besides NDA MPs, senior leaders of the alliance, including chief ministers, were present. Besides Chandrabadu Naidu, Nitish Kumar and Eknath Shinde, Chirag Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Anupriya Patel, Pawan Kalyan were among the NDA leaders present on the main dais, alongside senior BJP leaders.

Senior leader Rajnath Singh proposed a resolution in support of Modi's leadership and the NDA MPs endorsed it. Later, the list of parliamentarians supporting Narendra Modi was submitted to the president.

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News Network
June 8,2024

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Sofia Firdous, the Congress MLA from the Barabati-Cuttack seat in Odisha, has got her name registered in history books. She is the first-ever Muslim woman legislator to have been elected to the Odisha Assembly.  Ms Firdous defeated BJP's Purna Chandra Mahapatra by a margin of 8,001 votes.

Who is Sofia Firdous?

Sofia Firdous, 32, comes from a political family. She is the daughter of Mohammed Moquim, a senior Congress leader. The party replaced Mr Moquim with Ms Firdous in the 2024 Odisha Assembly elections, who emerged victorious. 

Ms Firdous holds a Civil Engineering degree from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology. She also completed an Executive General Management Program from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) in 2022.

In 2023, Ms Firdous was elected as the president of the Bhubaneswar chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI). She also serves as the East Zone Coordinator for the CREDAI women's wing.

She is the Co-Chair of the Bhubaneswar Chapter of the CII - Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and a core member of INWEC India. She is married to entrepreneur Sheikh Meraj Ul Haque. 

She follows in the footsteps of Nandini Satpathy, Odisha's first woman chief minister, who represented the same constituency in 1972. 

In the 2024 Odisha Assembly elections, the BJP secured a majority, winning 78 of the 147 seats, ending Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Biju Janata Dal's (BJD) 24-year rule in the state.

In the Lok Sabha elections, too, the BJP claimed victory in 20 of the 21 seats in the state, eight more than their tally of 12 in the 2019 polls. The remaining seat went to Congress, while the BJD did not win a single seat.

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