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Voting begins for 2nd phase of elections in 45 districts

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KATHMANDU — Voting for the second phase of House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections has commenced with excitement in 45 districts today. The polls opened at 7 am amidst tight security. and will continue till 5 pm.

Voters have arrived at their respective voting centres to cast ballot to elect 128 House of Representatives and 256 Provincial Assembly members.

Total 1,663 candidates are contesting for parliament and 2,819 candidates for the provincial assemblies under the First-Past-The-Post system.

Likewise, 5,848 contenders are in the fray for 110 seats in parliament and 220 seats in provincial assemblies under the PR category.

The elections will elect 128 member of parliament and 256 members of the provincial assemblies. Apart from these directly elected people’s representatives, 110 members of parliament and 220 members of the provincial assemblies will be elected under the Proportional Representation category.

Over 200,000 security personnel have been deployed in the ground for the elections, according to Home Ministry. Other than security personnel, more than 155,000 poll officials have been deputed for managing the elections today.

The completion of the second phase of elections will ensure a federal parliament at the centre and provincial assemblies in seven provinces as envisioned by the new constitution adopted in 2015.

The first phase elections were conducted in 32 districts on November 26.

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Health

Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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