Even as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Zika virus cases are on the rise on Kerala. The southern state has so far reported 21 cases, even as neighbouring Tamil Nadu tests samples form border areas. Health officials however assure that it is not a major cause of concern at present as the Zika virus is not spread by aerosols or contact.
"Two more people in the state have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. A 35-year-old resident of Poonthura and a 41-year-old resident of Sasthamangalam. With this, 21 Zika virus cases are confirmed in the state," Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile Tamil Nadu has ramped up precautions, testing samples from from people in the border districts and intensifying vehicle-checks at the Tamil Nadu- Kerala border. Travellers arriving from Kerala through various modes of transport were checked at the point of entry such as bus terminus and railway stations.
Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian told reporters on Monday that there had not been any cases reported thus far. "So far, 2,660 houses in the border region were inspected and none of the residents tested positive for the virus. We continue to hold tests for people who arrive from Kerala either by bus or train. This has been the case in the last four or five days," he said.
(With inputs from agencies)