By Indira Aryal Kathmandu, May 4: With the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country, every local body and hospital is working tirelessly on the frontline, preparing isolation wards, making hospital services more accessible and significant to cope with the pandemic. As the active cases cross 400 in Madhyapur Thimi Municipality in Bhaktapur district, the only municipality run hospital, Nepal-Korea Friendship Municipality Hospital is prepared with over 100 beds including 14-bed (HDU) High Dependency Unit, nine ICUs and nine ventilators, said the Mayor of the Municipality Madan Sundar Shrestha. Mayor Shrestha, who is also the chair of the Hospital Management Committee, said that the municipality has also moved towards the construction of an oxygen plant with an investment of Rs. 5 million and that it will be brought into operation very soon. The oxygen plant can fill up to 90 oxygen tanks in a day that means it can produce 360 litres of oxygen in a day. The hospital is also operating two portable X-rays for infected patients and three oximetres. The hospital also has three nursing robots, which will be mobilised to provide medicines, clothes and food to the infected patients. According to Mayor Shrestha, the municipality alone has set up a 70-bed isolation facility at the training centre of the Agriculture Development Bank Limited in Bode with the facility of a three-star hotel. Currently, seven infected people are staying in the isolation centre. The islocation centre could be expanded for up to 200 people, he added. One of the infected patients, Dikshya Gautam of Ward No .2 of the Municipality, who is doing her MBBS at Kist Medical College, said she felt more than at home while staying in the isolation centre. “Room with attached bathroom, hot and cold drinking water facilities, access to the internet, four-time meals and space to take exercise are more than what we get elsewhere,” she said. Another infected Anjali Shrestha, secretary of Ward No. 5 of the municipality, said it was better for her to be in the isolation centre than to stay at home because she was getting every facility there. “I can exercise, explore the beautiful garden inside the compound and get the meal on time,” she said. Tulsi Bhakta Tako, the focal person of the isolation centre, said that the isolation centre has medical staff and other staff from the municipality any time if they are in need. They have been providing healthy food four times a day. “It costs at least Rs. 1200 per person per day but the municipality has been bearing all the cost of the infected patients,” he said. The municipality has been operating PCR lab in its own investments. A total of 25,000 people have undergone PCR tests for coronavirus so far in the lab. The cost of the PCR is only Rs. 1,000 as directed by the government, Mayor Shrestha said. “We are working tirelessly to make the hospital number one municipality-run hospital of the country, he said. The municipality has separated Rs. 200 million budget for the COVID-19 responses in the current fiscal year.