Thursday, 16 July, 2020
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Lack of isolation wards hits hard COVID-19 risk management in Mahottari   



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Mahottari, June 1 :  Mahottari district has come across a short of isolation wards to deal with increasing number of COVID-19 infected people. Jaleshwor district hospital has possessed a 15-bed isolation ward to deal with 28 infected people admitted to the hospital. Among the infected people, 19 had tested positive for the virus through PCR and nine through RDT.    
 The hospital has got approval to set up a 50-bed isolation wards. So far, the number of infection cases in the district has reached 60. Other infected are receiving care at Janakpur corona hospital. Construction of isolation wards equipped with ventilators at the hospital is underway, said the hospital administration.    
Lack of isolation wards means infected people have been put in quarantine areas, thus increasing infection risks.    
It seems the existing capacity of the district is not sufficient to deal with the increasing cases of COVID-19. The district lacks an ample stock of personal protection equipment, testing kits, VTM, isolation beds, ventilators and so on to respond with the crisis. The limited number of health work force is another challenge to deal with the infections.    
Growing risk of misappropriation of local budget    
The local levels in the district are allegedly spending the public money in the name of quarantine centers in a haphazard way after the number of quarantine dwellers rises.    
They are accused of following no standards to set up quarantine centers which have also increased the risk of misappropriation of budget. The budget is being spent without keeping proper records, it is complained.    
Quarantine centers here have lacked basic infrastructure and facilities, it is said. People are given a mat and a bed sheet to sleep on a floor, and the food arrangement is very poor. There are no arrangement of electric fan, mosquito nets, proper toilets and electricity in the quarantine centers. The low quality of food has forced dwellers to demand meal from home. 

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