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.