Highlights from today's COVID-19 briefing of Health Ministry

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), in its regular press briefing, shared the latest COVID-19 updates from across the country, as of today.

As many as 9,666 laboratory tests (through Polymerase Chain Reaction method) have been carried out in the country to detect COVID-19 infection in order to curb its spread.

It was made public that 39,670 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood sample — have been run across the country, till date.

The total number of testing through PCR and RDT methods to scout the patients of COVID-19 infection has now reached 49,336 with 1,945 tests being run in the last 24 hours.

Listing the RDT numbers province-wise, Spokesperson Devkota shared, as many as 4,160 tests have been carried out in Province 1; 5,044 tests in Province 2; 7,467 in Bagmati Province; 4,871 in Gandaki Province; 2,950 in Province 5; 4,974 in Karnali Province; and 10,204 RDTs have been carried out in Sudurpaschim Province.

At present, there are 14,731 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country while 87 are under isolation. Among those isolated, three are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 84 are outside.

Bagmati Province reports the least number of people quarantine -- 131 persons. On the contrary, Province 5 has the highest number of people in quarantine facilities with 7,956 persons.

The government-established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) have answered 1,900 queries regarding COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Likewise, 25,906 entries have been made through the government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid19.mohp.gov.np until today.

Three new persons have been added to the red-zone list in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of those in the red zone to 290. Contact tracing of those in the red zone is being carried out by the concerned authorities, said Spokesperson Devkota.

In the media briefing, two recent recovery cases of the coronavirus infection were reported.

A 19-year-old female under treatment for COVID-19 at Dhaulagiri Provincial Hospital was discharged yesterday. Similarly, a 27-year old male admitted in Bharatpur Hospital has battled his way through the contraction after eight days of hospital-stay. Preparations are underway to discharge the patient after he tested negative on two of his last tests.

As of today, the country has witnessed 49 cases of coronavirus infection while 12 persons have recovered from the disease, adding a glimmer of hope as the nation grapples with the coronavirus crisis.

The Ministry today shared additional information on a coronavirus patient who tested positive for the infection yesterday.

A 62-year-old man from Jhapa tested positive for COVID-19 through PCR carried out at Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS). Spokesperson Devkota shared that the man's son had returned to Nepal from Dubai on March 17. Three members of the family tested positive for coronavirus antibodies through the RDT method. Following this, their samples were sent for PCR testing and the result came out positive for the 62-year-old.

With the recovery of 12 persons, 37 are currently receiving treatment at various health facilities across the country — one in Dhangadhi, five in Birgunj, one in Bharatpur, and 30 in Biratnagar. All patients have been reported to be in normal health condition.

Dr Devkota, during the briefing, also informed that today is World Malaria Day. On that note, he appealed to the public to maintain personal hygiene and urged to keep surrounding areas clean as preventive measures against malaria. Malaria is spread by mosquitos.

Few cases of malaria have been reported in people kept in quarantine facilities. With warmer season approaching, people are under greater risk of malaria, especially pregnant women and children. Therefore, the Ministry of Health requested people to adopt necessary precautionary measures against the disease, which is a concern atop the coronavirus crisis that looms across the country. Nepal aims to declare itself a malaria free nation by 2025, Dr Devkota added.

VIDEO: Latest COVID-19 updates from across country