COVID-19 likely to persist until India gets rid of it: Health Minister

Kathmandu, August 11

Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal has said the risk of COVID-19 will remain in Nepal until the pandemic is totally contained in India.

Addressing the 61st Anniversary Programme of Paropakar Maternity and Gynaecology Hospital here today, he argued that as Nepal shared an open border with India the risk of coronavirus would keep on increasing in Nepal as well unless it was completely stemmed in India.

Minister Dhakal said COVID-19 infection cases had increased since the people were not following the minimum health safety standards with the lifting of the lockdown. He, however, said that the number of infected cases and the death rate was less in

Nepal than in other countries due to the effective steps taken by the government.

“As per the ministry’s projection, it was estimated that the COVID-19 cases would reach 91 thousand until August 9 in the worst scenario and 39 thousand in the moderate risk scenario until August 18. But the number of cases is less than that due to the crucial role played by the government and the efforts of health personnel in the prevention and control of COVID-19,” the minister said.

Stating that infection has been seen again in places where COVID-19 was found before, he said those infected persons who did not show symptoms would be kept in home isolation under the supervision of doctors.

“In other countries, infection is not seen to an alarming extent in places where the infection had been detected before. But here we are finding infected people in places where it was detected before.

We are seeing COVID-19 infected people in places like Birgunj, Banke, Udayapur, Kailali again. Therefore, it is required that we need to adopt more precaution,” he said. Reiterating that the government was putting in its best efforts for containing the COVID-19, he urged one and all not to criticse the government in a baseless manner.

“We have done everything required and taken every measure for the prevention and control. Please give your suggestions if our initiatives are lacking. If we consider that suggestion is worth it would help in prevention of spread of coronavirus. But do not criticise the government for no reasons,” he said. Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Bidya Sundar Shakya suggested making the hospital’s services more effective. Ministry’s expert Dr Roshan Pokhrel and Director General of the Department of Health Services Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, among speakers, called for making the hospital’s services more efficient.

Hospital Director Dr Sangeeta Kaushal Mishra informed that the hospital’s services would be expanded and would provide health services to the patients from the needy, poor economic background and underprivileged sections of society.

Maternity Hospital, which was established in 1959 with 40 beds now has 415 beds with several facilities added to it, said Dr Kaushal Mishra.

Feature photo: File

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.