Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala health minister KK Shailaja on Thursday announced that the six persons out of seven, who were suspected of having symptoms of the Nipah virus, have been cleared as the samples tested negative. Sample of the seventh person, who showed symptoms of Nipah virus and is currently in the isolation ward, has also been sent for tests to the National Institute of Virology in Pune and the results are awaited. 

A total of 314 people have been kept under observation for having contact with the 23-year-old youth, who was diagnosed with the deadly Nipah virus.

The state government was waiting for a final confirmation of the test results from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune before declaring if a patient is tested positive or negative for the virus. Initially, the blood, urine, throat swab of the patients in the isolation ward were sent to NIV Alappuzha and Manipal laboratories.

On June 4, Pune’s National Institute of Virology had confirmed that the Kerala youth, who was admitted to a private hospital in Ernakulam with high fever for 10 days, is affected by the Nipah virus.

A year ago, Nipah virus had claimed 18 lives in Kozhikode. Isolation wards have also been arranged at three government medical colleges - Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode - to treat suspected persons.

A control room has been set up at the Ernakulam district collectorate, which is established alongside the district’s disaster management division. Shailaja said expert doctors have been deputed 24/7 at the control room.  If needed, isolation wards would be formed in the neighbouring districts of Ernakulam, she added. 

Control rooms under the leadership of Union health ministry have been opened in Delhi after the virus was confirmed in the state. The control room number in Delhi is 01123978046.