Sindhupalchowk patients suffer from influenza, test negative for COVID-19

Kathmandu, February 16

Laboratory reports of people in Jugal Rural Municipality of Sindhupalchowk, who were detected with coronavirus-like symptoms, have revealed they have influenza.

“From among the nine samples brought to the National Public Health Laboratory, three tested positive for influenza. Six samples tested for coronavirus were negative,” said Dr Bibek Kumar Lal, director at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. The national laboratory has given the reports to the division. Panic spread in the rural municipality, located 160 km north-east of Kathmandu, after 290 people of Ward No 3, known as Gumba village, complained of cough, high fever, and breathing difficulty. These symptoms were consistent with the deadly COVID-19.

“The situation is under control now. Fever has abated and their health is improving,” said Dr Pitambar Khanal, medical officer at Jalbire Primary Health Care Centre said.

The local government had written to the health ministry that the symptoms were akin to coronavirus and a special medical team needed to be dispatched immediately to conduct investigation.

The government had dispatched a health team and laboratory technicians to Jugal to collect throat swabs and blood samples. One person has been tested positive for the virus in Nepal so far.