Highlights from today’s COVID-19 briefing of MoHP

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 9,199 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 34,523 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood sample — have been run across the country, as of today.

The total number of testing through PCR and RDT methods to scout the patients of COVID-19 infection has now reached 43,722 with 3,305 tests being run in the last 24 hours.

Listing the RDT numbers province-wise as per the data available today, Spokesperson of MoHP Dr Bikash Devkota said, as many as 3,592 tests have been carried out in Province 1; 4,529 tests in Province 2; 6,155 in Bagmati Province; 4,555 in Gandaki Province; 2,756 in Province 5; 4,735 in Karnali Province; and 8,201 RDTs have been carried out in Sudurpaschim Province.

As of today, there are 10,573 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country while 86 are under isolation. Among those isolated, four are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 82 are outside.

The government-established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) have answered 2,080 queries regarding COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Likewise, 23,602 entries have been made through the government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid19.mohp.gov.np until today. Of these, 1,550 entries were made in the last 24 hours, wherein people have filled in the self-evaluation form regarding their health condition.

Nine 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 278. The contact tracing of those in the red zone is being carried out by the concerned authorities, said Spokesperson Devkota.

The Ministry of Health also informed the public about the major activities related to COVID-19 of today.

A video conference was carried out among the State Ministers of Health of the SAARC nations. State Minister for Health and Population Nawaraj Rawat and his team took part in the meeting representing Nepal. Review of various COVID-19 related activities carried out by SAARC countries, experience sharing, and steps ahead were discussed in the video conference.

Likewise, also taking place today is an information session on COVID-19, through video conference, organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters.

The health cluster virtual meeting -- organised every Thursday -- was also taking place today, participated by Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) of all seven provinces along with other health stakeholders.

Spokesperson Devkota also informed that a directive has been issued aiming to implement safety measures at the border entry points where import and export of goods take place. Included in the guidelines are points such as disinfection of freight vehicles and imported goods, health check-up of drivers and others involved in carrying the goods to ensure they are not infected with COVID-19, and safety measures to be adopted by those at border points carrying out the checking, among others.

UNFPA has provided 1,200 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sets, 300 boots, and more than 3,600 sanitisers to help in the prevention and control of COVID-19.

Regarding coronavirus infection, the Ministry confirmed that two news cases were identified today. A 55-year-woman whose sample was collected from Udayapur district and a 14-year-old boy from Janakpur have been detected with the coronavirus. Their samples were tested at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kathmandu through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method. With these additions, the total number of infections in the country, as of today, has reached 47. Health condition of all the infected persons have been reported normal.

Meanwhile, two members of the family residing in Pepsicola-based Sun City Apartments have recovered from COVID-19. The 81-year-old woman and her 58-year-old son have been discharged today from Lalitpur-based Patan Hospital after recovering from the disease. With this, the total number of persons to have recovered in the country has reached nine.

Dr Devkota, speaking on behalf of the ministry, also appealed to the public to provide special care to those with underlying health conditions and chronic illnesses such as respiratory conditions, diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, cancer, among others.

Keeping in mind the difficulties faced by persons living with such conditions during this time of lockdown, the Ministry requests them to regularly take their medications and continue consultations with their doctors over the phone. They are requested to take regular health services, in case of need, from health facilities other than those designated for COVID-19 cases. However, Dr Devkota stressed that emergency services will be available in any health facility in case of need.

Last, but not the least, the Ministry appeals everyone concerned to assist in the care of individuals with chronic and underlying health conditions. They can also call the aforementioned ministry call centres for support.

VIDEO: Latest COVID-19 updates from across country