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Kerala Voted India’s Best Destination for Leisure at the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards in 2016

Kerala's main attractions remain the unspoilt beaches, the web of tangled backwaters criss-crossing the land and the dances and culture

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Kerala popularly referred to as 'God's Own Country'. Wikimedia

Thiruvananthapuram, December 2, 2016: Kerala has been voted as India’s best destination for leisure at the Conde Nast Traveller readers’ awards this year.

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The state, popularly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, was voted the ‘Favourite Indian Leisure Destination’ this year by readers who responded to a survey conducted by the international travel magazine.

This is the third in the series of popularity awards that Kerala has received in the recent past, with Lonely Planet citing it as the best family destination in India and Travel + leisure magazine listing it as a top honeymoon destination.

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“Kerala is known for its natural beauty and the state’s historical connections with many other parts of the world have contributed to its popularity as a top destination for leisure,” said State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

Although Kerala’s main attractions remain the unspoilt beaches, the web of tangled backwaters criss-crossing the land and the dances and culture.

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The state is constantly evolving by popularising new attractions that offer the best in leisure. (IANS)

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UAE Expats Worry Over Resurfacing of Nipah Virus in Kerala

A total of 311 people from Thrissur, Paravur in Ernakulam district, and Thodupuzha in Idukki were also under observation

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UAE, Expats, Nipah Virus, Kerala
A fruit and vegetable vendor in the UAE, on the other hand, decided to stop importing produce from Kerala until the scare subsides. VOA

UAE-based Malayalis have expressed concern for their loved ones back home, as a Kerala youth tested positive for the Nipah virus, leading to a number of traders and travellers taking precautionary measures, the media reported.

Besides a Kerala youth being treated for testing positive for the Nipah virus (NiV), state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Wednesday revealed that three nurses who treated him, a friend and another person have been kept in isolation.

A total of 311 people from Thrissur, Paravur in Ernakulam district, and Thodupuzha in Idukki were also under observation.

Sharjah resident Sridevi Rajendran, who is from the same town as the infected victim, told the Khaleej Times: “He was in the same school as my son. We are very worried about the situation back home, and my son is there as well. Since there is no clarity as to where the virus has originated, people are generally tensed.”

UAE, Expats, Nipah Virus, Kerala
UAE-based Malayalis have expressed concern for their loved ones back home. Wikimedia Commons

The Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans; through contaminated food; or directly between people. It infects a wide range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people, making it a public health concern, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In 2018, a Nipah scare resulted in a temporary ban on Kerala fruits and vegetables in the United Arab Emirates, and a travel advisory to the South Indian state was also issued.

A fruit and vegetable vendor in the UAE, on the other hand, decided to stop importing produce from Kerala until the scare subsides. However, no official ban has been implemented yet.

“We have temporarily stopped the import of fruits and vegetables from Kerala, which make up 25 per cent of our total produce,” said PC Kabeer, founder and CEO of FarmChimp, a company that sells source-traceable produce.

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Kerala-bound travellers told the Khaleej Times that their trips would go as planned, but they would be taking “extra precaution”.

Marketing professional Anand Rajiv, who is flying to Kochi, said: “As long as I am not having local water or food from outside, I should be okay. Of course, I am worried about my health as it is not a joke.” (IANS)