Ten deaths due to the deadly Nipah virus reported so far from northern Kerala has prompted the state government today to issue an advisory, asking travellers to avoid visiting the four districts of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur. 

Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said, "Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe. But, if travellers wish to be extra cautious, they may avoid the four districts."

"The government has also called for an all-party meeting at Kozhikode on May 25 to discuss the issue. MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people and leaders of various political parties would attend the meeting," Health minister K K Shailaja said on May 23rd. 

Ten people already lost their lives due to Nipah virus in Kozhikode and  Malappuram districts so far, and 19 people are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, including one in Wayanad. Out of the 13 confirmed cases, 10 persons have died. 

Isolation wards have been set up in Thalassery government hospital in Kannur. In Kozhikode, where seven deaths have been reported, District Collector U V Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna for the safety of people. 

The 'anganwadis' in these regions will be closed down to avoid the spread of the virus among children. But, no decision has been taken yet concerning the re-opening of school after summer vacation in these districts.

Meanwhile, 2,000 Ribavirin tablets, an antiviral medicine, have already reached Kozhikode. Another batch of 8,000 tablets are expected to be delivered later in the day, health department sources said.