The Ministry of Health and Population today requested hospitals to postpone elective surgeries for the time being, keeping in view a high number of coronavirus cases in the country and lack of health infrastructure, such as beds, intensive care units and ventilators.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Jageshwor Gautam said, “We request hospitals to postpone elective surgeries for the time being so that beds in intensive care units and ventilators necessary for post surgical care can be used for treatment of coronavirus patients.”

He added that hospitals should, however, conduct emergency surgeries as before.

According to the health ministry, there are 20,765 beds for isolation, 2,600 beds for intensive care and 900 ventilators across the country.

As many as 329 COVID patients are in intensive care — 202 are in Bagmati Province, 50 in Lumbini Province, 32 in Province 1, 20 in Province 2, 17 in Karnali Province, six in Gandaki Province and two in Sudurpaschim Province. The ministry added that 76 COVID patients are on ventilator support — 55 in Bagmati Province, 10 in Province 1, nine in Lumbini Province and two in Province 2.

Though the government has allocated over 20,000 beds for isolation of coronavirus patients, the number of active COVID cases in Nepal is 31,315. According to the health ministry, 13,649 COVID patients are in institutional isolation, while 17,666 are in home isolation.

Though the government has requested hospitals to postpone elective surgeries, it has decreased the number of polymerase chain reaction tests. Yesterday laboratories across the country had conducted 19,320 tests, but today only 12,427 tests were conducted resulting in 2,071 new COVID cases. However, that is way below yesterday’s COVID count of 5,008.

Of those testing positive for the respiratory contagion across Nepal today, 1,416 are from Kathmandu valley — 1,145 from Kathmandu, 161 from Lalitpur and 110 from Bhaktapur.

Of the others diagnosed with COVID today, 104 are from Bardiya, 98 from Rupandehi, 36 each from Baglung and Kailali, 34 from Arghakhanchi, 32 from Dang, 28 from Saptari, 25 from Nuwakot, 24 from Kaski, 20 each from Gorkha and Banke, 17 from Kanchanpur, 13 each from Mahottari and Nawalparasi, 12 from Udayapur, 11 from Bara, 10 each from Kapilvastu and Doti, nine each from Lamjung, Dailekh and Rukum (West), seven from Siraha, six from Dhading, five from Makawanpur, four each from Ramechhap, Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Rautahat and Gulmi, three each from Pyuthan, Dolpa, Sarlahi, Chitwan, Dolakha, Nawalparasi (East) and Morang, two each from Dhanusha, Palpa, Syangja, Kalikot, Salyan, Surkhet, Baitadi and Rukum (East) and one each from Tanahun, Parbat, Okhaldhunga, Jhapa, Solukhumbu, Parsa, Achham, Darchula, Jumla and Rolpa.

With today’s additions, Nepal’s COVID caseload stands at 107,755, including 75,804 recoveries.

So far, 70.4 per cent COVID patients have recovered from the disease in Nepal.

According to the health ministry, 6,618 COVID patients have recovered in Province 1, 14,983 in Province 2, 28,307 in Bagmati Province, 4,197 in Gandaki Province, 10,724 in Lumbini Province, 3,443 in Karnali Province and 7,532 in Sudurpaschim Province.

As many as 1,552 patients of the novel coronavirus disease were discharged from health facilities within 24 hours after recovering from the disease.