By Chandra Prakash Sharma, Pokhara, Mar. 29: Treatment of the girl who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and become the fifth case in Nepal of the deadly virus has begun in the Dhaulagiri (Zonal) Hospital.
The 17-year old girl who had been to Belgium for family visits had returned home on the same flight in which another girl, a France-returnee, was detected as the second COVID-19 patient in Nepal on March 23.
The fifth COVID-19 patient who was confirmed being infected with the virus on Saturday has been kept in isolation at the Dhaulagiri hospital for the treatment.
As the health condition of the girl has been found to be normal and her treatment could be done in the hospital in Baglung, we are sending Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ventilator, VTM and other medical supplies for the hospital, said Binod Bindu Sharma, Provincial Health Director of Gandaki Province.
We have initiated preparation as she tested positive for the virus. We had sent her swab for testing at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Kathmandu, Sharma said.
The girl had returned home from Belgium on March 17 and for a few days in the beginning she had moved around in her village freely.
However, upon learning that a France-returnee girl was tested positive for the virus as the second COVID-19 patient in Nepal and that she was also feeling uncomfortable, she contacted health workers.
Dhaulagiri zonal hospital had collected her swab samples and sent it to the NPHL in Kathmandu for testing as she was suffering from mild fever. However, the girl had returned home saying she would stay in the quarantine at her home, according to the hospital.
A lady of Baglung town and a youth of Dhorpatan municipality, who were in close contact with her, are in quarantine at their homes.
The girl was admitted to the hospital 7 hours after the Health Ministry confirmed that she had tested positive for the virus at 4 pm on Saturday because the hospital lacked ICU and it took time to decide where she should be treated.
The girl admitted in the isolation room of the hospital is suffering from mild cough only and she has no other health problems at present, according to her family members.
Swab testing of all passengers who came in the same flight has been initiated after two of the passengers have been tested positive for the virus that emerged first in late December in Wuhan of China, presently sweeping across the world, infecting over 600,000 and killing more than 27,000.
As the girl had moved around in her home village from March 17 to 23, monitoring of those who came in close contact with her has been intensified.
Baglung municipality sprayed disinfectant in the village she lived, said Mayor Janakraj Paudel.
Meanwhile, according to Myagdi correspondent, over 115 people who returned home recently from overseas jobs have come in contact with the local level. Of them, 30 people of Beni Municipality, 27 of Mangal Rural Municipality, 20 of Malika Rural Municipality, 15 of Raghu Ganga Rural Municipality, 14 of Annapurna Rural Municipality and 9 of Dhaulagiri have been asked to stay in quarantine at their homes.