American of Nepali origin screened at TIA, admitted to STIDH

Kathmandu, January 26

An American of Nepali-origin was admitted to Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital today after the medical team deployed at Tribhuvan International Airport detected fever, one of the symptoms of novel coronavirus.

“The person was detected with fever by the medical team at TIA and was then immediately taken to the hospital. He has been admitted in Teku-based Sukraraj hospital,” said a source on condition of anonymity.

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has been operating health desk at the airport since a few days and screening persons arriving in the country. The hospital, however, discharged another patient suspected of coronavirus infection today afternoon.

“The patient, aged 28, who had returned from Nanjing was discharged from the hospital as he didn’t show any symptom for more than 72 hours after being admitted in the hospital,” said a hospital source. The specimens of the patient have been sent to the National Influenza Centre, National Public Health Laboratory for tests but the reports are yet to arrive.

However, a woman with coronavirus symptoms is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.

As the country doesn’t have reagent to test coronavirus the government has planned to buy reagent for making the tests available in the country.

“Arrangements are being made to buy reagent. We are collaborating with the World Health Organisation.

The reagent will arrive within a week,” said Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Information Officer at National Public Health Laboratory.

“If the reagents are brought here we can at least test 20 samples at a time,” Gupta added. The cost for the test will be decided later.

The outbreak of pneumonia in China is believed to have been caused by a new strain of coronavirus, which has already killed 56 people in China. Over 1,900 confirmed cases have been reported in China.

2019-nCOV cases have also been reported in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Australia, France, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau and in Taiwan.

Currently Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital has been designated as the preliminary focal point for medical treatment of patients suspected to be infected with novel coronavirus.

According to WHO, coronavirus is a family of virus that causes illness ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory complications, fever, cough and shortness of breath. In severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Recommendation to prevent coronavirus infection include washing hands regularly, covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness.