Capital city to get 5,000-bed isolation centre

Kathmandu, August 20

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has decided to set up a 5,000-bed integrated quarantine and isolation centre within a week. The drive is aimed at managing the growing COVID-19 cases and keeping the huge number of foreign returnees under surveillance.

In a public appeal made today, KMC Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya claimed that the metropolis was doing all possible for prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 cases. “We will set up an integrated quarantine and isolation centre with the capacity of around 5,000 persons within a week, in coordination and participation of the federal and provincial governments, and municipalities of the Kathmandu valley,” he said.

Welcoming the move of the local administrations of the valley for issuing prohibitory order to control COVID-19 pandemic, he appealed to the valley denizens to sincerely abide by that order. “As crowds are the main source of disease spread, I request everyone to stay indoor until the virus situation comes under control.

If it is necessary to get out of home due to unavoidable circumstances, the persons concerned should strictly follow safety measures like wearing face-mask and using hand sanitiser,” Mayor Shakya suggested.

According to the mayor, KMC has been operating free emergency ambulance service for patients suffering from heart disease and renal failure, among other serious health ailments, for their transportation to and from hospital to ensure that no one was deprived of medical services.

Five ambulances will provide service round-the-clock. KMC has also set up a hotline (1180) for receiving calls and responding to the service-seekers.

He also appealed to the people to avoid crowds while celebrating religious and cultural festivals. “Kathmandu valley is the most populated urban centre in Nepal and has been passing through an adverse situation due to exponential growth of coronavirus cases. If we don’t take necessary precautions now, the situation could go beyond our control,” he warned.

Mayor Shakya also appealed to the people not to take the issues of PCR testing seriously.

“PCR testing was neither a tool to prevent and control COV- ID-19 infection nor a medicine for the disease. It only helps us to diagnose the virus.

Therefore, we should prioritise good hygiene like wearing a mask outdoors, sanitising hands with alcohol-based solutions or soap and water, maintaining physical distance and avoiding crowds,” he advised.

Mayor Shakya claimed the KMC had formed and mobilised 10 teams for contact tracing of suspected cases within the metropolis.

Their mobilisation has led to PCR testing of 1,715 persons till date. He said the metropolis was also disinfecting public places besides raising public awareness against the disease.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 21, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.