Saudi Arabia bans produce from Kerala

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has banned frozen and processed fruit and vegetable imports 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 Monday.

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 a flight to the Kerala government carrying medical supplies that will help the fight against Nipah.

As of date, of the 18 positive cases, 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.