Kathmandu, May 23
As many as 27 coronavirus patients are undergoing treatment in different hospitals of the valley.
Since the Ministry of Health and Population only makes the permanent address of coronavirus patients public, this has created confusion among the general public.
The Ministry of Health and Population, while disseminating information about persons who have tested positive for the infection, does not provide information about their current address in the valley.
According to data provided by the health ministry, 27 corona infected persons from outside the valley were found to be residing in Kathmandu valley. From among the 27 persons, 11 have been kept in isolation in Patan Hospital, one in Teku Hospital and 15 in APF Hospital for treatment.
According to the health ministry, the infection has spread to 40 districts across the country.
Patan Hospital has admitted 13 persons to its isolation ward.
“There are people from various districts. Some of them might have been living in Kathmandu when they tested positive or they might have come to the hospital for treatment from their districts,” said Bishnu Prasad Sharma, director of Patan Hospital.
“If both the current location and permanent address of the persons receiving treatment is given it would help us trace other contacts and test them quickly.
Also, persons, who are currently residing in areas outside Kathmandu but have tested positive, should seek treatment in their own locality.
There is no exact medicine for coronavirus infection. But if someone tests positive for the infection and comes to Kathmandu for treatment, there are high chances of him/her transmitting the infection to others. Anyone who comes in his/her contact during the travel period can be infected,” said Sharma.
Earlier, a male who tested positive for coronavirus had his location mentioned as Ramechhap, but later he was found to be residing in Maitidevi.
There has been confusion among the public regarding the place currently resided by persons, who have test positive for the virus. “Those whose samples have been collected are in contact with health workers.
The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has been tracing the contacts of persons who have tested positive on the basis of their current place of residence and permanent address,” said Samir Kumar Adhikari, assistant spokesperson for the health ministry.
“Though we used to ask only for the permanent address of persons who tested positive, earlier, now we have started collecting details of the persons’ current address while collecting samples. As the samples collected earlier are yet to be tested, we have not yet been able to give details of infected persons’ current address,” said Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari, assistant spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population.
“Since people give their permanent address while collecting samples for lab tests, It has created difficulty in tracing the contacts of infected persons. If we know the current address of the infected persons, it will help people take necessary precautions,” said an official from Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health Services on condition of anonymity.
“Also, local levels should help the EDCD with contact tracing,” the official said.
Due to confusion created by lack of information about the current address of the infected persons, the National Information Commission had issued a release directing the health ministry to disseminate correct and detailed information of infected persons.
The commission has also asked the health ministry to keep other personal details of infected persons confidential.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.
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