Nepalgunj, April 15

New patients could not be admitted to Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital after the number of coronavirus cases started increasing in the past one week in Banke.

The surge in the number of serious COVID-19 patients has made it more difficult to keep them in isolation centres.

Informing about the scenario in multi-party discussion here today, Bheri Hospital Management Committee said the hospital was unable to admit new patients due to lack of manpower, beds and oxygen.

The hospital development committee had organised multi-party meeting. Chairman of the committee Pramod Dhital said as many as 80 patients were admitted to the hospital till Wednesday, adding, "Of them, eighty per cent are serious."

"The number of infected persons has been increasing daily. We are compelled to keep serious patients in beds with oxygen," he said. Dhital complained that health workers were at high risk of infection after the hospital could not admit infected persons. Dhital further clarified that COVID-19 patients needed oxygen that cost Rs two lakh on a daily basis and shortage of oxygen might hit the hospital. He said the multi-party meeting was organised in a bid to ameliorate the problems.

There are as many as 107 beds and 16 ventilators in the hospital. Dhital added that it was very difficult to operate all the beds and ventilators due to lack of manpower.

Medical Superintendent at the hospital Dr Khagendra Jung Shahi said it was difficult to operate the service due to lack of manpower. He said new virus cases had increased, and it was difficult to provide necessary service.

"There is no possibility of admitting new patients in the health facility at present," he added.

Nursing Officer Shila Sharma said the hospital lacked nursing staff and could not provide service safely to the patients.

Acting Chief District Officer in Banke Dirga Raj Upadhaya said they had been trying their best to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus amid the surge in virus cases. He said necessary initiatives would be taken to add more beds in the hospital and control mechanism in the border areas would also be taken into consideration.

Deputy Mayor Uma Thapamagar at Nepalgunj sub-metropolis said initiatives had been taken to operate isolation centres and help COVID-19 patients in their treatment. She added that health desks would be expanded and contact tracing would also be carried out in the area. Of the 123 swab samples collected, 75 persons tested positive for the virus yesterday, according to the hospital.