Nepal | January 16, 2021

Twenty-six put under quarantine again due to ‘negligence of authorities’

Ram Kumar Kamat / Tekendra Deuba
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Kathmandu/ Kailali, April 13

The youngest son of the 62-year-old Kailali woman who tested positive for coronavirus today is miffed at the local authorities for allowing his family and other people staying in Lamki-based quarantine to go home without thoroughly testing them for COVID-19.

“We went home thinking that we are all okay, but today the authorities told us that my mother tested positive and all of us, including our relatives who came in our contact, needed to stay in quarantine again,” said the 21-year-old son of the COVID-positive woman who worked at a sweet shop in Birgunj.

He said 25 of his relatives would have to stay in quarantine due to government authorities’ negligence. “Why should government authorities act in a hurry to end quarantine without thoroughly testing people for coronavirus?” he wondered.

The youth said he and his family, who were among the people staying in Lamki quarantine, were prepared to stay in the quarantine for 21 days as per the government’s order, but they went home as local representatives and government authorities told them on April 10 that they had tested negative and they could go home. He said his elder brother was staying in Pune, but no one from the family had met him in the past oneand-a-half years.

The boy is perplexed how his mother contracted the virus.

“My mother stayed in our rented apartment in Birgunj with two of her grandchildren.

My father has a tea stall at Birgunj bus park. I cannot guess how my mother contracted the virus,” he said.

The woman, who has nine children — five daughters and four sons — suffers from asthma and hypertension.

She tested negative for COVID-19 in the rapid diagnostic test, but tested positive in the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test done at National Public Health Laboratory. The woman, who is asymptomatic, was admitted to Dhangadi-based provincial hospital at around 1:00pm today.

The woman and her family were among 35 people from the far-western region living in Birgunj who were allowed by the government to return home on March 30 when the country was put under lockdown.

Seventeen of them who got down at Lamki, Kailali, were quarantined at Lamki Chuha Multiple Campus. The woman kept her bags at her house in Bhuruwa before she went to stay in Lamki quarantine. She was among the 52 people (17 who had returned from Birgunj and 35 who had come from India) quarantined there.

Government authorities have identified and contacted all 34 people who had travelled from Birgunj in the bus with the woman who tested positive for the COVID-19.

Kailali Deputy Superintendent of Police Daksha Kumar Basnet said the pass issued by Parsa administration listed 35 passengers of the bus, but one passenger missed the bus and travelled in a truck. According to Basnet, one of the passengers got off the bus at Gurwakot and five got off in Kohalpur, Banke. One passenger who hailed from Arghakhanchi and one passenger who hailed from Dang Deukhuri also got off on the way to Kailali.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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