Be cautious when travelling from Nipah-hit areas to Oman: Keralites

  • 4 months   ago
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Oman-based Keralites have called upon fellow expats to exercise caution while travelling to and from their home state in India.

The reason for the caution is the deadly outbreak of the Nipah virus in the southern state of India, which has claimed 10 lives, including nurses treating the diseased people.

At least 12 more have tested positive for the disease, Kerala’s health minister K K Shailaja announced. Also, 20 more people are under observation.


The deaths are mostly concentrated in north Kerala, particularly the districts of Calicut and Mallapuram. However, the Kerala government has claimed that the situation is under control, adding that it was working on quarantining and treating the affected people.

Nipah is a communicable virus that spreads from animals such as bats and pigs to humans, and is known for its high fatality rate.

Calicut-native and head of internal medicine at Badr Al Sama Hospital Dr Bashir A P said that Keralites travelling from Nipah-affected districts in Kerala to Oman should adhere to certain standard practices to manage the situation better.

“The global best practice is to enquire among local people about health conditions before travelling to any given place. If there is an outbreak of any disease, they are the best people to tell you what you can do in such a situation. It’s not just Nipah, it could be dengue, typhoid, swine flu or any other disease,” he said.

Affected districts

“More importantly, if you are an expat and you fall ill in one of these affected districts, you had better not take a chance and stay back, even if it is mild fever. One should contact his/her employer and let him/her know that this can be a grave matter.

Companies should also cooperate in such a situation. You can just as easily get a consultation and tests done and rule out Nipah and then travel to Oman,” the doctor added. Indian Social Club (ISC) cultural welfare secretary P M Jaber said that it was indeed important for expats to be cautious during such outbreaks, but added that one needed to remain calm at the same time.

“If those travelling to Oman have any symptoms, let them stay back for a few days. At the same time, there is nothing to panic about. Both Indian state and federal ministries have categorically stated that it’s under control. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also endorsed it. I would also request my fellow Indians not to spread rumours,” Jaber added. See also