Kathmandu, March 25
A 32-year-old Nepali from Dhading district has been confirmed as the third coronavirus patient in Nepal. The man, who returned from United Arab Emirates on March 19, was staying at a hotel in Kathmandu since his arrival in Nepal. The name of the hotel where he was staying has not been disclosed. He is undergoing treatment at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku.
“The man visited the hospital (on Monday) after developing COVID-19 symptoms. His samples were collected and sent to National Public Health Laboratory (on Tuesday morning),” Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal said today. The lab report came out on Tuesday evening, according to STIDH Director Sagar Kumar Rajbhandari.
The man had cough when he visited the hospital, said STIDH Spokesperson Anup Bastola. “He is in isolation ward and his health is fine.”
The government has started tracking down people who shared the flight with Nepal’s third coronavirus patient and came into his contact. But it has not disclosed the name of the airlines and the number of the flight he took.
Nepal reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 23 when a 32-year-old man, who had returned from Wuhan, China, tested positive. He has since recovered. Nepal detected the second COVID-19 case on March 22 after a 19-year-old student, who had returned from France via Doha, tested positive. She is undergoing treatment at an isolation ward in STIDH. Her health is normal, according to doctors. The flight she took from Doha had 158 passengers, including 20 females. Most of them are from Mahottari, Kathmandu, Sarlahi, Baglung, Bhojpur, Dolakha and Banke.
The flight also had people from Rasuwa and Solukhumbu on board, besides an Indian national and a foreigner whose nationality is not known.
After landing in Kathmandu, the 19-year-old had posted a message on social media, complaining about the situation at Tribhuvan International Airport. She wrote: “I flew in to Kathmandu from Paris (via Doha) today and the situation is rather shameful. Not a single person was sat (sic) at the health desk, no forms were let out for us to fill, immigration did not really ask anything either. Coming from France (where the country has literally announced pretty much a lockdown) I was expecting and hoping for more checks than this. I was in the same situation where the plane mostly had Nepali migrants who clearly were not as well informed about the situation as they should have been (to me this is not fully their fault) about the scenario.”
A version of this article appears in print on March 26, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.