The Kerala High Court, considering the recent Nipah Virus outbreak, has directed the Health Secretary of the State to issue advisory to Sabrimala pilgrims during the ongoing Kannimasa Pooja from September 17, 2023 to September 22, 2023.

The matter came up before the Court through a report filed by the Special Commissioner calling for advisories, if necessary, from the Directorate of Health Services, Kerala in view of the recent Nipah Virus outbreak in Kozhikode District, as Sabarimala Temple has opened for Kannimasa Pooja.

A bench of Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice Sophy Thomas, thus observed, Having considered the submissions made at the Bar, we deem it appropriate to direct the 2nd respondent Health Secretary, if found necessary, to issue advisory to Sabrimala pilgrims during Kannimasa Pooja from 17.09.2023 to 22.09.2023, with intimation to the Special Commissioner, Sabarimala and also the 8th respondent Executive Officer, Sabarimala”.

Senior Government Pleader S.Rajmohan, Senior Counsel G. Biju, Amicus Curiae. N. Raghuraj appeared before the Court.

It is to be noted that the Travancore Devaswom Board has submitted that, so far the total virtual queue booking during Kannimasa pooja is 34,860.

It was further submitted by the Health Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department that the areas in Kozhikode District, for recent Nipah Virus outbreak, has been declared as containment zones and there is complete restriction in the movement of persons within the containment zone.

They had further stated that all persons, in contact with those affected by Nipah Virus, have already been identified and have been put under quarantine.

Accordingly, the bench disposed of the matter.

Cause Title: Suo Motu v. State of Kerala [Neutral Citation: 2023:KER:54601]

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