Man who went for COVID-19 check-up flees

Kathmandu, March 5

A man who returned from South Korea recently went to Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku, and told doctors that he needed to undergo treatment as he might have contracted coronavirus in South Korea.

Doctors at the hospital, however, found the man had no symptoms of coronavirus. Doctors then kept the man at the hospital for psycho-social counselling, but the man ran away from the hospital in the evening, creating panic.

“That man had no symptoms of coronavirus but since media outlets and social networking sites spread the rumour that a coronavirus suspected patient ran away from an isolation ward, I am receiving a deluge of phone calls seeking to know about the man,” said Dr Anup Bastola, spokesperson for Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital.

He said the man who ran away from the hospital was phobic because he had gone to South Korea for employment and kept telling family members that he feared he might have contracted coronavirus. “Our team talked to the man’s sister who told the team that her brother was panic-stricken and feared unnecessarily,” Bastola said and added that wrong information about the ‘phobic’ man had prompted many people to inquire with the hospital.

“I have received 200 to 300 calls today seeking information about the man,” Dr Bastola added. He said the hospital was receiving seven to eight calls every day from people who have returned from South Korea who tell them that they feared they might have contracted coronavirus.

“As of today we have no case of coronavirus infection and we are working hard to prevent the spread of the disease, but we are also dealing with phobic people,” Dr Bastola said. He said the lab reports of three people who were kept at the isolation wards yesterday were negative.

Two persons with symptoms of flu and fever were admitted to the Hospital today. Out of these two patients, one was sent by Tribhuvan International Airport authorities after he was found to have fever. Another person who had returned from a foreign tour voluntarily went to the hospital as he was down with fever.