Coronavirus has no boundaries, says Health Minister Dhakal

Kathmandu, January 24

Three persons have reported fever, one of the symptoms of coronavirus at the health desk of Tribhuvan International Airport.

If required, the persons will be admitted to hospital for further medical evaluation, according to a source at the Ministry of Health and Population.

“We have their records and those persons are in touch with us,” said Mahendra Shrestha, spokesperson at the ministry.

Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal said, “The disease has no boundaries. We will try our best to control its outbreak.” The disease has been diagnosed in patients in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the United States of America. As 26 persons have already died of the novel coronavirus total number of people diagnosed with the new virus has risen to more than 800 cases.

Nepal has deployed a medical team comprising eight persons at the health desk of Tribhuvan International Airport. The airport, however, doesn’t have infrared thermal scanners to detect fever in people coming from foreign countries. “We are working to provide infrared devices. Thermal scanners have been used at the health desk for the time being,” said Shrestha.

The Ministry has said six beds at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital have been allocated for isolation of patients suffering from symptoms of the disease.

“The patients will be treated individually,” said Dr Basudev Pandey, STIDH director. “Preparation for the treatment of patients suffering from the diseases is also being done at Patan Hospital,” said Shrestha.

The ministry has requested persons visiting Nepal to report to the health desk if they have fever or any respiratory illnesses. “This is a new type of disease. More countries will pick it. We will know more about the disease in the near future,” said Dr Jos Vandelaer Country Representative to Nepal for World Health Organisation, adding, “Most people suffering from the disease have symptoms of common cold and flu. People should practise basic personal hygiene methods such as washing hands regularly,” said Vandelaer.