Locals in Rautahat look worried after the only government hospital in the district - Gaur Hospital - has announced to close its OPD and elective surgery from Sunday onward owing to rapid increase in the coronavirus cases.

The hospital issued a notice undersigned by the hospital's Medical Superintendent Krishna Sah, saying services such as CDP, elective surgeries and OPD would be closed from Sunday in view of resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The hospital has also cited the letter of the Health and Population Ministry to close the services and has apologised to the public for the inconvenience caused.

The notice, however, has left the locals in the state of panic. While the hospitals outside the district don't have enough beds to treat regular patients, the option of crossing over to India for treatment or any other purpose is nonexistent given the border closure.

"The showdown of services has increased a risk of non-COVID patients might lose lives for want of treatment, which is unfortunate," said Nepali Congress Mahasamiti member Shyamchandra Jha. He also questioned the authorities saying who would be responsible if any non-COVID patient lost life for want of treatment.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 1, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.