KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates from across the country on Covid-19 response. In one of today's major developments, MoHP Spokesperson Dr Bikash Devkota informed that sample collection for COVID-19 testing has been increased in areas identified as hotspots of the infection. He added that a team from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, along with Nepal Army personnel, have been mobilised to collect a minimum of 500 samples from Udayapur, 1,000 samples from Birgunj, and 1,000 samples from Nepalgunj as a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus. Spokesperson Devkota also informed about a Cabinet decision, which directs government and private health facilities to continue providing essential and emergency services to the public. Medical and pharmaceutical outlets will also remain open. Likewise, he said, veterinary services will be made available. People can access these services in their neighbourhood but must practice physical and social distancing while doing so. As of today, 68,602 tests — including 14,509 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 54,093 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — have been carried out, where 1,451 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours. At present, there are 17,372 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country. Furthermore, 133 persons are in isolation. Among those isolated, three are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 130 are outside. As of today, the country has witnessed 99 cases of coronavirus infection including 71 males and 28 females. 77 infected persons are receiving treatment at various health facilities across the country. In addition, three persons, who had earlier recovered from the coronavirus infection and were discharged, have been re-admitted for treatment on testing positive for the virus again. Lastly, Spokesperson Devkota appealed to the public to remember the words of Buddha at this hour of crisis and light a lamp at homes on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti -- 2564th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha -- today.