Highlights from today's COVID-19 media briefing

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 324 laboratory tests (through Polymerase Chain Reaction method) were carried out in the past 24 hours in the country to detect COVID-19 infection in order to curb its spread with 8,414 tests performed in total.

It was made public that 25,148 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood sample — have been run across the country, as of today, with 3,019 tests being run in the last 24 hours.

As of today, there are 5,936 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country while 111 are under isolation. Among those isolated, five are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 107 are outside.

The government-established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) have answered 2,299 queries regarding COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Likewise, 21,291 entries have been made through the government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid.mohp.gov.np until today. Of these, 497 entries were made in the last 24 hours.

Spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population Dr Bikash Devkota shared that Gandaki Province and Sudurpaschim Province have brought into operation provincial call centres —1192 and 1148 respectively — to make this service more accessible to people.

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 263. The contact tracing of these persons is underway, said Spokesperson Devkota.

The Ministry today officially announced that 152 swab samples have been collected from Udayapur district -- from where thirteen new infections were reported of late -- which are current being tested at the Teku-based National Public Health Laboratory.

As of today, 31 cases of the COVID-19 infection have been reported in the country of which four patients have returned home following recovery. Currently, there are 27 patients receiving treatment across various hospitals in the country. All of those infected have been reported in normal health condition.

In one of today’s major developments, it has been learnt that real-time PCR machine for COVID-19 testing has been made available in Karnali Province from the microbiology department of Kirtipur-based Tribhuvan University.

Dr Devkota, speaking on behalf of the ministry, also appealed health facilities across the country to not refrain from providing emergency medical services to patients with specific and sensitive health conditions including cancer, kidney ailments, heart diseases, pregnancy, asthma, among others.

Furthermore, the Ministry assured the public that all necessary efforts are being made to ensure proper supply of clotting factor for the patients of haemophilia along with other pharmaceutical supplies for people requiring constant medications for their health conditions.

Spokesperson Devkota concluded the press briefing by urging unity to combat the spread of the novel virus.