Sample of 96 quarantined persons collected

Kathmandu, April 3

Samples of 96 persons under quarantine in Kharipati have been collected for COVID-19 tests.

Nepalis entering the country via air on March 21 from coronavirus-hit countries were sent to the quarantine centre.

Nepalis arriving from Malaysia, Japan and some Gulf countries were sent to the quarantine centre at Kharipati, Bhaktapur.

Samples of 92 persons, who are under quarantine in Kailali and Kanchanpur, have also been collected, according to the health ministry. Those samples are being tested in National Public Health Laboratory, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Janakpur, Hetauda, Pokhara, Lumbini, Surkhet and Dhangadi.

The laboratories are using real time polymerase chain reaction, for testing samples to detect coronavirus infection. “The machine which is used to test the sample for coronavirus is portable,” said Sapana Subedi, acting director at Gandaki Province Public Health Laboratory.

“A few of the samples tested in the laboratory should be sent to National Public Health Laboratory for verification and accuracy of the tests,” said Subedi.

“Verification of the samples should be done to confirm whether the machines and reagents were working properly. This will be done for some time,” said Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population.

From among the seven persons, who have been in close contact with the sixth COVID-19 patient, four have been traced, according to the health ministry.

Contact tracing of all the patients is under way, according to the health ministry.

Meanwhile, the health ministry has received a total of 3,502 phone calls through its hotline numbers 1115 and 1133 in the past 24 hours.

“Of them, 107 callers have been kept under the red zone and we are trying to contact them,” said Dr Devkota. Also 5,636 people submitted their queries through the health ministry’s app.

According to the health ministry, a total of 15 coronavirus suspects have been kept in isolation wards of different hospitals across the country.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 04, 2020 of the Himalayan Times.