11 more contract COVID-19 in Udayapur

Kathmandu, April 21

Eleven new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the country today, taking the number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 42, including five who have recovered. All the new cases are from Udayapur district. They had contracted the disease from 13 people residing in Nuri Mosque in the district who tested positive last week.

This is the second time that more than 10 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease in a single day. Nepal had witnessed the largest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases on April 17 when 14 cases of the disease were detected.

Two of the cases detected today are females, including a 36-year-old woman, while the rest are males, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Population. Of the infected males, two are 18-year-old boys, two are 41-year-old men, while five are aged 20, 33, 40, 52 and 58.

Throat and nasal swabs of the 11 people tested positive for COVID-19 using polymerase chain reaction method. Three of the samples were cross-verified at National Public Health Laboratory, Teku, while eight samples were cross-checked at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan. All of them have been admitted to the isolation ward at Corona Special Hospital in Biratnagar.

Udayapur has emerged as a hotspot of coronavirus disease after 13 people residing in Nuri Mosque in the district tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Twelve of them are Indians, while one is a Nepali national.

According to the District Administrative Office, Udayapur, the Indian nationals had come to Nepal from Delhi on December 10. They had been living in the mosque for the past one month. They had come to Udayapur from Biratnagar and had also visited Sunsari and Saptari.

“Specimens of 100 people who had come into contact with those infected at Nuri Mosque in Triyuga Municipality have been collected so far,” Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population told a press briefing today.

A medical team deployed from Kathmandu had collected the samples that were tested in NPHL, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, and Koshi Zonal Hospital, Biratnagar.

The government has sealed the area in the vicinity of the mosque to prevent the spread of the disease.

The first COVID-19 case in Nepal was diagnosed in January and he has since recovered. Four others have also recovered.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 22, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.