Expert panels formed to deal with Nipah in J&K

Expert panels formed to deal with Nipah in J&K
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‘No adverse travel advisory, only awareness required’

SRINAGAR: The Health department has formed two expert panels in Kashmir and Jammu region to raise awareness about Nipah virus and deal with any exigency, Minister for Health and Medical Education, Dr Devindar Kumar Manyal told Kashmir Reader but appealed people not to panic as there was no presence of Nipah virus in the state.
“Our major hospitals are already prepared to deal with any exigency. Two teams comprising of specialists have been formed. They will start working from May 29. The screening facilities at Srinagar and Jammu airports are being upgraded as per the guidelines of Nipah virus. We have also taken other measures like awareness and information campaigns to ensure that people don’t panic unnecessarily,” Dr Manyal said.
He added the people have been asked not to panic.
“Isolation wards are already present in every hospital. We will still ask people to take preventive measures,” Dr Manyal said.
The Minister said that all HoDs and authorities at medical colleges have been directed to start Information Education and Communication (IEC) activities in all hospitals.
“The screening and treatment for the suspected people will be done on the symptomatic basis and for that, the medicine departments are being alerted,” he said.
According to officials the tertiary care hospitals have been directed to take extra precaution as Kashmir is visited by many tourists from south India.
“Airports are the receiving places for most of the tourists from south India including Kerala where the virus has broken for the first time. Although we cannot screen every tourist, the screening team at the airports have been asked to remain extra cautious and screen every suspect,” he said.
Dr Manzoor Kadri, an epidemiologist in the Health Department said the Nipah virus advisory has already been issued for doctors, paramedics and health officials in various districts.
“As such, there is no presence of virus in J&K. There is also no adverse travel advisory as of now. Only awareness about the virus is must this time,” he said.