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12-year-old boy dies of Nipah, Central team to reach Kerala

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Northern Kerala, including Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Kannur districts, are on high alert.

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 5 A 12-year-old boy, who was detected with Nipah virus disease, died in the early hours of Sunday. The boy was from Kozhikode and he breathed his last at a private hospital.

The boy had recently recovered from Covid and was taken to the hospital after the fever did not subside. He was reportedly admitted at the Kozhikode Medical College and later shifted to the private hospital on September 1.

The Union Health Ministry has deputed a team of doctors and other specialists to conduct a detailed study on the disease and the surroundings. The team is expected to reach Kozhikode on Sunday morning.

Northern Kerala, including Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Kannur districts, are on high alert.

State Health Minister Veena George told IANS, “There is no need to panic, the government has put the health system in place. Three-body fluid samples taken from the boy were tested positive from the National Virology Lab, Pune. No one from his immediate family or neighbourhood has shown any symptoms and no need to panic.”

The health department, according to sources, has put five immediate relatives of the deceased boy, and 12 others who have interacted with him, under observation.

The health minister convened a virtual meeting on Saturday night with doctors and other health department officials and arrangements have been put in place for a special Nipah ward at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

State works minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas and Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran are in Kozhikode to coordinate the activities of the department, and the health minister is expected to reach the city on Sunday morning.

It may be noted that there was a Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala in 2018. On May 2, 2018, the Nipah virus was first detected in a person at Perambra hospital in Kozhikode district and was later shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College where he passed away. The outbreak led to 17 deaths and it was finally declared as contained on June 10, 2018.

The detection of Nipah virus and subsequent deaths in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala has led to the revival of World Health Organisation’s Nipah Drugs Trial group which was led by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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