'Prayers saved lives from Nipah' posts Facebook admin, removed

The admin of the official Facebook page of Kerala health department was removed for posting that 'prayers saved lives from Nipah'. PTI file photo

The admin of the official Facebook page of Kerala health department was removed for posting that 'prayers saved lives from Nipah'. The Facebook post which went viral and found support and critique in equal measure was later deleted.

"No positive cases have been reported today. The relief is that the tests conducted on sister Lini's children also turned out to be negative. From the time they were admitted, people were praying. Prayers answered," read the post that appeared on the verified page of Kerala health department on Tuesday. 

The post drew criticism from social media for two reasons, one using an official platform for such comments and two for expressing a personal belief. In a failed bid to reply to the criticism, a comment was also made from the page which read: ''After knowing the situation of the children, most of the officials from the health department prayed. Forgive, if it was wrong." 

Later, the responsible person was removed from managing the page. Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said, ''The page is not operational as of now as the person who was managing the page has voluntarily expressed his inability to continue. We will resume posting and will be monitoring your inputs as soon as we engage someone to manage the page. The inconvenience is regretted." 

Health minister K K Sahilaja said the volunteer was removed from the responsibility as the "page had to be managed scientifically." The @KeralaHealth page was one of the most active Facebook pages of the Government of Kerala. It also played a crucial role in curbing the spread of fake news surrounding the deadly Nipah virus which claimed 13 lives in the state. 

Earlier Health Minister K K Shylaja had told reporters that the authorities had collected details of people who had direct contact with the deceased persons and all of them were being kept under observation. Still, the authorities have not confirmed the real source of the virus. As samples of insectivores bats and fruit-eating bats tested negative for the virus. 

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'Prayers saved lives from Nipah' posts Facebook admin, removed

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