Rs 25 million earmarked for hospitals to run fever clinics across the country

Kathmandu, March 26

The Ministry of Health and Population has decided to provide one million rupees each to 25 hub hospitals across the country to run fever clinics.

Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population Yadav Prasad Koirala told mediapersons during a press briefing today that the government decided to immediately disburse Rs 1 million rupees to 25 hospitals to help them run fever clinics where suspected COVID-19 patients could get themselves diagnosed.

Koirala said people with flu-like symptoms should not panic and they should seek to undergo COVID-19 tests only when their symptoms worsened.

He also urged those who had returned from COVID-19 hotspots to self-quarantine for at least 14 days to protect their own health and the health of the general public.

Koirala said the government had issued guidelines related to personal protective equipment for frontline health professaionals to reduce the risk of infection. As per the new guidelines, goggles, gloves, mask and cap will be enough for health professionals to check patients with cold and fever symptoms and full PPE will be required only when they treat COVID-19 positive cases.

People with cold, cough and fever should not worry for at least 3-4 days unless their health worsened, he added. Koirala said patients’ swab test would be done only on fever clinics’ recommendation.

The National Public Health Laboratory has tested more than 700 samples, of which only three tested positive for COVID-19. Asked whether or not one million rupees given by the federal government to 25 hospitals would be enough to run fever clinics, Director of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital Prem Khadga said the amount would be enough as it was meant for helping hospitals procure PPE for health professionals deployed in fever clinics and thermometers that are used to measure patients’ temperature.

Running fever clinics is necessary to diagnose and refer COVID-19 patients, he added. The government’s decision to help hospitals run fever clinics comes in the backdrop of media reports that health professionals outside Kathmandu who faced acute shortage of PPE were scared to check people with cough and fever fearing that they could contract the contagion from them.