UAE-Based Entrepreneurs Pledge Support to Children of Kerala Nurse Who Died of Nipah Virus
Nipah virus is primarily spread through infected fruit bats. (Photo credits: Flickr, Furryscaly)

Dubai, May 23: Two entrepreneurs in the UAE have offered their support to the two young children of an Indian nurse, who died after contracting Nipah virus from patients in Kerala.

The Abu Dhabi-based entrepreneurs also hailed Lini Puthussery for her "heroic sacrifice" in the line of duty. A 28-year-old nursing assistant with the Perambra Taluk Hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala, Lini got exposed to the deadly virus while treating affected patients and died on May 21, leaving behind two sons, aged 2 and 7.

Santhi Pramot and Jyothi Palliat, executive directors of Avitis Institute of Medical Sciences based in Palakkad, Kerala, told Khaleej Times they have pledged to sponsor the education of Lini's sons. "What she did is a heroic sacrifice in the line of duty," Santhi, who lives with her family in Abu Dhabi, said.

"We want to take a small step to honour her devotion to the nursing profession and also support the family in their grief. We have contacted the family and informed them that their son's education till they are self-reliant is our responsibility," she said.

Santhi said being in the healthcare profession they realise the sacrifices and hardships of nurses. "It was indeed a heart-breaking incident that she died while attending to her patients," she said.

Having contracted the virus, Lini had sent an emotional message, scribbled in Malayalam, to her husband Sajeesh, who works in Bahrain, minutes before she died on May 21.

Hearing of her wife's condition, Sajeesh had rushed to Perambra two days before her death. Earlier today, the Kerala government also extended a helping hand to the family of Lini and decided to give a job to her husband and Rs 10 lakh each to two of their children.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly-emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

Ten persons have died of Nipah virus so far in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala. Two more persons who died of high fever are suspected to have contracted the virus.