Monday, 6 July, 2020

Returnees asked to remain in self-quarantine

Third case of COVID-19 in Kathmandu


By Ajita Rijal

Kathmandu, Mar. 26: The Ministry of Health and Population Wednesday confirmed yet another positive case of COVID-19 in Nepal.
A new COVID-19 case has been tested positive in a 32-year-old Nepali man of Dhading who returned to Nepal from Qatar on March 19. Nepal records three cases of COVID-19 by now.
Speaking at a media briefing, Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said that the virus infected man was currently under isolation and receiving treatment at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku, Kathmandu.
The man, who had been staying at a hotel after returning from Qatar, had reached the Sukraraj Hospital after feeling uneasy, said Minister Dhakal.
“Now we are tracking all those suspected who were closed to the patient,” said Minister Dhakal and asked all those who were with the patients to stay in self-quarantine.
Minister Dhakal also asked all those who had returned from India to stay in self-quarantine. He appealed to all those who came from the flights to remain in quarantine and help government fight the unprecedented health emergency.
He asked the returnees of the suspected countries to visit the nearest health centre and test for the virus.
Two days ago, Nepal had recorded the second case of COVID-19 in a 19-year old woman who had returned to Nepal from France. 
Minister Dhakal said that the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital at Teku, Kathmandu, would work to identify the COVID-19 cases and the infected patients would be referred to the Patan Hospital.
On the occasion, Minister Dhakal said that the samples of the suspected are collected at the National Public Health Laboratory Teku via airways from Biratnagar and Nepalgunj and via ambulances from other districts.
Minister Dhakal informed that the sample test is being carried out in BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, adding that the ministry would soon expand the labs in all seven states.
Protective gears will be available soon
Minister Dhakal assured availability of PPEs for health workers within three days. “We are coordinating with China to procure PPEs and necessary medical equipment, hopefully they may be available here in three days,” said Minister Dhakal.
The government needs to start preparing ICUs, ventilators and protective gear for health workers. The health workers, including nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel in the hospitals lack PPEs and other protective gears and they feared to treat the virus suspected patients.
The anti-biohazard equipment includes respiratory masks, sterile hoods, gowns, goggles and boots. Due to the lack of these protective gears, the health workers are facing challenges to treat the coronavirus suspected patients.
These protective gears are very essential to avoid the transmission of the virus from the patients to the care providers and health workers.
The government has started for the management of the 1000 isolation wards and 235 ICU beds for the treatment of coronavirus infected patients. Those health workers working at those wards need PPE.
The number of patients has increased significantly at the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital in Teku, Kathmandu which gets most of the referrals of suspected coronavirus cases.
Sagar Kumar Rajbhandari, director at the Teku hospital, said that the PPEs are very essential for health workers for the treatment of COVID-19 disease.
NPHL tests 687 samples
The total number coronavirus suspected tested case in Nepal at National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) has reached 687. Of the total tested cases, 684 have tested negative, with three positive, of which one has already recovered. 

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