Three more COVID-19 cases detected

Kathmandu, April 29

Three persons — two from Bara and one from Parsa — tested positive for novel coronavirus disease today, taking the number of people who have contracted COVID-19 in Nepal to 57. Sixteen of them have already recovered.

Throat and nasal swabs of a 46-year-old man from Parsa and two men, aged 31 and 43, from Bara district tested positive for COVID-19 during polymerase chain reaction test at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kathmandu.

According to Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Bikash Devkota, the three men had come from Delhi and had been under quarantine in Simara. All three of them are asymptomatic and have been admitted to the isolation ward in Narayani Hospital, Birgunj. Eight COVID-19 patients are undergoing treatment there. The other five patients in the hospital are also asymptomatic, which means that they don’t show any symptom of the disease said Madan Kumar Upadhyaya, medical superintendent at Narayani Hospital.

With the number of COVID-19 patients rising, the Birgunj-based hospital’s infrastructure, manpower and logistics are being put to test. “We need 10 to 15 units of personal protective equipment daily. We have 100 units of PPE with us. The hospital also lacks gloves, masks and sanitisers,” said Madan Kumar Upadhyaya, medical superintendent at Narayani Hospital. “We have been using the hospital budget and donations to purchase PPE, sanitisers and other necessary items,” said Upadhyaya.

The hospital has four beds in intensive care unit, along with two ventilators. It has a capacity for treating 25 COVID-19 patients, but lacks trained workforce.

According to the health ministry, apart from Birgunj, 31 COVID patients are admitted to Corona Special Hospital in Biratnagar and one each in Dhangadi and Bharatpur.

A total of 22,901 persons are under quarantine across the country.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.