Highlights: Health Ministry's April 27 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.

A screenshot of media briefing on COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), on Monday, April 27, 2020.
A screenshot of media briefing on COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), on Monday, April 27, 2020.

As many as 10,471 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 43,063 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 53,534 with 2,184 tests being run in the last 24 hours.

Spokesperson Devkota shared that as many as 3,471 and 11,961 tests have been run in Province 5 and Sudurpaschim Province, respectively.

At present, there are 20,195 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country among which 230 and 11,202 persons have been quarantined in Bagmati province and Province 5 respectively.

Furthermore, 106 persons are in isolation. Among those isolated, eight are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 98 are outside.

The government-established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) have answered 2,119 queries regarding COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Likewise, 27, 542 entries have been made through the government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid19.mohp.gov.np until today of which 741 entries have been made in the last 24 hours.

Eight 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 304. Contact tracing of those in the red zone is being carried out by the concerned authorities, said Spokesperson Devkota.

As of today, the country has witnessed 52 cases of coronavirus infection while 16 persons have recovered from the disease, adding a glimmer of hope as the nation grapples with the coronavirus crisis.

With the recovery of 16 persons, 36 are currently receiving treatment at various health facilities across the country — one in Dhangadhi, three in Birgunj, one in Bharatpur, and 31 in Biratnagar. All patients have been reported to be in normal health condition.

In one of today’s major developments, it was informed by the ministry that a special COVID-19 hospital has been established with the ability to facilitate 100 patients in Dharan. Similarly a PCR machine has been installed at the Dang-based Rapti Academy of Health Sciences (RAHS). With this addition, the total number of PCR machines in the country has reached 16.

The government today made provisions for private laboratories to conduct PCR tests under prescribed guideline. A book of directives, namely- Interim guidelines for the establishment and operationalisation of molecular laboratory- was issued today for the private laboratories willing to conduct PCR testing. In addition, those laboratories have to seek authorisation from the Ministry of Health.

Spokesperson Dr Bikash Devkota, speaking on the behalf of the ministry, attempted to calm speculation regarding the lockdown extensions, citing that several factors will determine the end and easing of the COVID-19 lockdown—number of tests performed in the country, prevalence of contraction, responsibility shown by the public to combat possible spread during crisis, infrastructural preparedness and sufficiency of health personnels.