Health Minister Veena George stressed that the Health Ministry’s priority is to strengthen contact tracing and determine the source of infection.
Ms George said the samples from seven people among the child’s 20 high-risk contacts were sent to the Pune NIV for testing.
The child died of the Nipah virus early Sunday morning.
“The main task is to strengthen contact tracing. We provide special training to our field workers. It is equally important to find the source of infection. Whether this child was first infected or from where this child was infected. We have 188 contacts traced yesterday. There could be more contacts. We are trying to locate everyone,” she said.
She said there are chances of an increase in the number of contacts as the parents first took the child to a clinic, then to a private hospital, then to the medical school and from there to another private hospital.
“Samples from seven of the child’s 20 high-risk contacts have been sent to the Pune NIV. We expect the results today. We have also enlisted the help of NIV Bhopal. The Pune NIV will set up a testing facility at Kozhikode Medical College today, which will help us get the results faster,” she said.
The Chathamangalam Panchayat and adjacent areas have been completely cordoned off after the boy was found infected with the Nipah virus. The two-mile radius from the boy’s home is now a containment area.
The minister had said on Sunday that the two health workers, who are among the dead child’s 20 high-risk contacts, have been identified with symptoms of a Nipah virus infection.