No COVID-19 case since April 4: MoHP

Kathmandu, April 8

No new coronavirus positive case has been reported since April 4 when three positive cases were reported from Kailali and Kanchanpur districts, including one case of local transmission.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Bikas Devkota said at the daily press briefing that until today a total of 2,366 COVID-19 tests were conducted, including 401 tests that were conducted outside Kathmandu laboratories.

Only nine people have tested positive so far, eight of who are undergoing treatment in different hospitals. The first COVID-19 patient fully recovered in January.

Devkota said the government had ramped up COV- ID-19 tests in the western and far-western regions, including Kailali, Kanchanpur and Baglung districts.

Khem Bahadur Karki, adviser to minister of health and population, said the fact that no new COVID-19 case was reported in the past four days was an indication that the government’s efforts to contain local transmission of the deadly disease were making progress.

He added that current spike in COVID-19 cases in India was also a cause of concern for Nepal as chances of Nepalis living in India crossing into Nepal through the porous Nepal-India border were high.

He said the government was trying to ensure that infected Nepalis did not cross into Nepal through the porous border.

Karki said the current lockdown imposed in Nepal would give government agencies a chance to track, diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients in Nepal. He said if the lockdown was extended in India, that could also impact Nepal’s decision as Nepal shares an open border with India.

He said it was in both countries’ interest to prevent movement of people till the threat of COVID-19 pandemic subsided.

He said if any region or area of Nepal reported more COV- ID-19 cases in the next few days, then the government might extend the lockdown in those affected areas even if the government decided to lift the lockdown in other areas.

Devkota said laboratories in Nepal tested 244 samples today.

He added that health professionals today collected 198 rapid and PCR samples from Kailali and Kanchanpur districts and 802 nasal and throat swabs from Achham, Jumla and Surkhet districts.

According to Devkota, 12 people are undergoing treatment in COVID-19 isolation wards in Kathmandu and 122 people outside Kathmandu.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 09, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.