Family members, health workers test negative

Bhairahawa, May 22

Family members of a COVID-19 infected person from Gulmi, who died at Crimson Hospital of Tilottama yesterday, and health workers who attended to him at the hospital, have tested negative for the virus.

“Test results of 29 persons — health workers, hospital staffers and the deceased’s kin — have come out negative. Of them, 10 persons are the staffers and health workers of a polyclinic in Arghakhanchi, where the patient had first visited for treatment,” said Health Directorate Assistant Spokesperson Roshanlal Chaudhary.

The deceased, a 41-year-old man from Gulmi’s Madane Rural Municipality-6 was suffering from jaundice, common cold and cough, and had approached Rupandehi’s Crimson Hospital on May 14.

The hospital had collected his swab sample and sent it for a lab test the next day. The test result that came out three days later had confirmed COVID-19 infection in him. After he passed away at the hospital yesterday morning, his body was laid to rest with the help of Nepal police and Nepali Army personnel in the forest on the eastern flank of Butwal Spinning Mills today.

The deceased’s family members have, however, blamed the death on the negligence of the hospital rather than the infection.

“If it was the virus that killed him, how would the health workers and his kin who attended to him test negative for the infection?” asked a deceased’s relative Khim Bahadur Pun.

Pun condemned the local administration’s decision to get the body buried against their tradition and without their permission and without allowing them to see the body for the last time.

Coronavirus infection seems to have spread in the community level in the province, where two journalists, four security personnel, one staff nurse, along with teachers and minors as old as four years have also tested positive for the virus.

As per data, some 200 COVID-19 infections have been reported across the province until this afternoon. While Banke has reported the highest number (101) of COVID-19 infection so far, COVID-19 cases in Kapilvastu and Rupandehi have reached 60 and 29, respectively as of today. Of them, 21 have recovered and returned home in Banke today. Earlier, a man in Rupandehi too returned home after recovery.

So far, two persons — the 41-year-old teacher from Gulmi and one youth staying in quarantine in Banke — have lost their lives to the virus in the province.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.