Pune: Many people from Kerala, who are working with private firms in Maharashtra, are facing discrimination after the outbreak of Nipah virus infections in Kerala.
In response to this, the State Health Department issued a notice informing companies that there should be no discrimination against Keralites as the outbreak has been contained.
Nipah virus cases were reported in North Kerala during the last week of May this year. So far, 18 deaths have been reported due to the virus infections.
According to the notice issued by the State Health Department, many instances of discrimination against native and tourists returning from Kerala have come to light. Private firms should not indulge in any discriminatory treatment against anyone travelling from Kerala as the situation there is under control, the notice said.
The Central government is not checking tourists returning from Kerala as the condition is under control, added the notice.
State Surveillance Officer Dr Pradip Awate said the Nipah virus is contained. “There are certain precautions that are to be taken by those visiting Kerala. Otherwise, there is no need to panic and such treatment should be avoided by private employers as there is no need,” said Dr Awate.
Celeste Francis visited Pune after the outbreak of Nipah virus infections in Kerala. She is from Pune but has been studying in Kerala for last one year. She said, “There have been instances where my friends and relatives have asked me if I was okay. During my stay in Pune in the last week of May, many people inquired about the situation. But the condition in Kerala is normal and is under control. Hence, there is no need to panic.”
According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Nipah Fact Sheet, the virus can be transmitted to humans from animals like bats, pigs and can also be transmitted directly from human-to-human. In 2001, it appeared in Bangladesh and in the same year, the virus outbreak happened in Siliguri in West Bengal in India. Among the 65 persons infected in Siliguri, 45 died.