Thirteen persons have died in Gorkha's remote Barpak village in the past one week.

While three of the deceased were COVID positive, others too are said to have developed symptoms similar to coronavirus.

According to Chief District Officer Shaligram Sharma Poudel, a team of health workers from the district itself and Pokhara have started collecting swab samples in the village for PCR test from today. "Barpak has over 1,500 homes and around 6,000 population.

As the village is a crowded one, there is a need to raise awareness about the virus," he said.

Gandaki Province Health Directorate Director Dr Binodbindu Sharma said doctors' teams had been sent with necessary equipment and medicines to Barpak.

"We have deployed teams of doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and others to the village after Sulikot Rural Municipality chairperson informed us about the unusual deaths of people in Ward 1 and 2. The reasons of the deaths will be learnt once the teams return and completes their investigation," said Dr Sharma.

The directorate has further asked communities across the province to report any incidents of community-level COVID-related symptoms. It has asked people to call toll free hotline number 1092.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 29, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.