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 333 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 8,763 tests performed in total.

It was made public that 27,956 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood sample — have been run across the country, as of today, with 2,808 tests being run in the last 24 hours.

The total number of testing through PCR and RDT methods to scout the patients of COVID-19 infection has now reached 36,719.

Spokesperson Devkota shared that the number of RDTs being carried out across the provinces is increasing by the hour. Listing the RDT numbers province-wise, he said, as per the data available today, as many as 2,620 tests have been carried out in Province 1; 3,598 tests in Province 2; 5,157 in Bagmati Province; 4,183 in Gandaki Province; 2,483 in Province 5; 3,738 in Karnali Province; and 6,177 RDTs have been carried out in Sudurpaschim Province.

As of today, there are 7,067 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country while 107 are under isolation. Among those isolated, six are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 101 are outside.

The government-established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) have answered 2,185 queries regarding COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Likewise, 21,566 entries have been made through the government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid.mohp.gov.np until today. Of these, 275 entries were made in the last 24 hours, wherein people have filled in the self evaluation form regarding their health condition.

Four 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 267. The status of their health and contact tracing is being carried out by the concerned authorities, said Spokesperson Devkota.

The Ministry today officially announced that 320 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, Koshi Hospital in Biratnagar and Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences.

Similarly, 221 samples of throat swab have been collected from Birgunj, where RDT too is ongoing. In one of today’s major developments, Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed one new case of COVID-19 infection in the country.

A 33-year-old male, whose sample was collected from Udayapur district, has tested positive for the coronavirus, today, taking the country's total number of infections to 32 while the number of active cases stand at 28.

Among the samples recently collected from the district, his sample came out positive for the virus through the PCR method at Teku-based National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).

The Muslim Commission in their press release has encouraged people to read Namaaz in their homes during the month of Ramadan.

Dr Devkota, speaking on behalf of the ministry, also appealed to the public to refrain from gathering in masses at religious places including temples, churches, mosques and monasteries to perform religious activities. The ministry stressed on maintaining physical distancing and social distancing in any kind of religious practice. Furthermore, the ministry has urged the public to worship at home as far as possible, in line their respective faiths, to combat the potential spread of COVID-19 infection in the country.

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