Saudi Arabia has banned imports of frozen and processed fruit and vegetables from Kerala amid concerns over the deadly Nipah virus outbreak. The Nipah virus itself can cause encephalitis—a dangerous swelling of the brain—and common symptoms vary from none to elevated fevers, cough, headache, shortness of breath and confusion, the Gulf News reported on June 4.
On May 29, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) banned imports from Kerala. UAE officials announced that 100 tonnes of fruit, vegetables and fresh produce that was to be imported from Kerala was prohibited from entry.
A UAE-based health provider, VPS Healthcare, sent medical supplies to the Kerala government to help in the fight against Nipah.
As of date, of the 18 positive cases of Nipah in Kerala, 16 have died and the remaining two are recovering well at a Kozhikode hospital while the around 2,000 people, who have reported to have come in contact with the affected, are being monitored.
Kerala’d Health Minister KK Shailaja said on June 4 that a second phase of outbreak of Nipah virus was not expected in the state and the situation was "almost under control”.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda on June 4 said “All such incidents were the result of tampering with nature. Nipah Virus wasn't a man-made problem. There were natural reasons. Every person suffering from the virus has been mapped and those in contact with such patients have been detected".
With IANS inputs