Saudi bans fruit, vegetables from India’s Kerala

Kerala has recently witnessed an outbreak of the Nipah virus



Saudi Arabia has banned imports of frozen and processed fruit and vegetables from India’s Kerala state, citing the risk from an outbreak of Nipah virus.

The kingdom announced the ban in a filing published by the World Trade Organisation on Thursday.

Nipah has killed at least 15 people in Kerala, but no cases of the virus have been found outside the state.

There is no vaccine for the virus, which is spread through bodily fluids and can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, the World Health Organisation says.

The death rate is around 70 per cent and there is no vaccine.

The kingdom’s ban follows similar action by the UAE last month. The emirates’ Ministry of Climate Control and Environment said the decision was based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation.

Read: UAE bans fruit, vegetables from India’s Kerala over Nipah scare

In May, the Bahrain and UAE consulates in India also advised their citizens to avoid travel to Kerala.

Also read: Gulf citizens, residents warned against travel to India’s Kerala

With contributions from Reuters