S Korea returnee tests negative for coronavirus

Pokhara, March 14

Coronavirus test of five suspected persons was conducted in Gandaki Province. Of the five, two tested negative while the result of three others is yet to come, said Gandaki Province Health Director Dr Binod Bindu Sharma.

“Blood sample of an individual from Myagdi, who had recently returned from South Korea, was collected and sent for laboratory test and he tested negative for coronavirus,” said Dr Sharma. Lab test result of another person from Lekhnath Municipality, Pokhara, was also negative.

The person from Myagdi had returned from South Korea and visited the health facility for blood test and health check-up. “Being afflicted by fever, common cold and respiratory problems do not mean that you have coronavirus infection,” said Dr Sharma, adding, “You may suspect that people have got coronavirus only if they came in contact with virus-infected people or they were the returnees from the coronavirus-hit countries.”

The provincial government has set up an isolation ward comprising 100 beds for coronavirus suspects. The beds have been arranged at hospitals in Tanahun and Pokhara.

“Hostels of agriculture office and Armed Police Force have been prepared to keep the coronavirus suspects in quarantine. We do not have budget problem to control the deadly virus,” said Dr Sharma.

According to Dr Sharma, Gandaki Province has just 66 personal protective equipment gears for medical doctors and health workers to deal with coronavirus outbreak.

The supply of such gears has fallen short across the globe.

Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung termed the effort to control coronavirus, a war.

“This is a war. Soldiers, colonels, generals and common people too will be killed in this war,” Gurung added. The chief minister said his government would allocate up to Rs one billion to curb the virus outbreak. He said the provincial government was working to prevent coronavirus from striking the province in the first place. The province government has formed a high level direction committee led by CM Gurung.

A total of 71 Chinese workers are in quarantine at Pokhara Regional International Airport, which is under construction.

Province Health Director Dr Sharma said 71 quarantined Chinese nationals had spent 14 days in quarantine in their country before coming to Nepal. Health desks have been set up at various places and health workers have been trained on how to test coronavirus suspects.