A day after the first case of monkeypox was found in the state, the Kerala government on Friday issued special alerts to five districts – Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Kottayam.
The first case was detected in a passenger who came from the UAE in the Sharjah-Thiruvananthapuram Indigo flight that reached the Trivandrum airport on July 12. The special alerts have been issued as the passengers who travelled with him are from these five districts.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said there were 164 passengers and six cabin crew on board. She said isolation facilities will be set up in all these five districts. George said 11 people who were in the seats next to him are on the high-risk contact list. And the primary contact list includes the patient’s parents, taxi driver, auto driver, and 11 passengers of the same flight who were in adjacent seats.
The state health minister in a statement said that passengers who traveled on the same flight should conduct self-monitoring and report to the health officials if they develop any symptoms of virus infection within 21 days.
Vijayakrishnan GS, President of KGMOA (Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association), said the person came in contact with the rare virus while working there in UAE. He said several countries have reported such cases. “We have a South African variant that’s less fatal. 11 people who travelled with him under observation,” he said.
A day after the first case was detected in the Kollam district, the Centre sent a high-level multi-disciplinary team to Kerala to collaborate with the state authorities in instituting public health measures. It said the team will work closely with the state health departments and take a stock of on-ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions.