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COVID-19: Infection rising at alarming rate

(Maternity and pregnant single and helpless women who have come to Pokhara Metropolitan City-9 for relief. Maya and Parvati Gurung of Myla Kanchha Abhiyan distributed relief to 42 people affected by the bandh. Photo: Jamuna Varsha Sharma-RSS)

Narayan Dhungana, KATHMANDU:- The global pandemic of Novel Coronavirus Infectious Disease (COVID-19) is found increasing alarmingly in the country. The magnitude of challenge has upped with the rise in the rate of infection. As of now 1,401 people have confirmed to have contracted the virus and among them 804 tested positive for the COVID in a week lately.
The number of infections has increased by an average of 100 every day since May 27. The infection tally added as many as 629 infected persons in the last four days. On Friday only 170 new cases were confirmed while the so far the highest number of 189 tested positive for virus on Saturday alone.
According to the information shared by the Ministry of Health and Population, some six persons have lost their lives to coronavirus infection. Nepal however has recorded low death rate in comparison to other countries. As shared the ministry has expedited the task of contract tracing of the people close to the deceased.
A Nepali national who came from Wuhan, China on 23 January 2020 was first confirmed the first case of coronavirus infection in Nepal. He came to contact with doctor on 1 January and was admitted to hospital on 13 January. He was then confirmed to have contracted with the virus. His swab samples were sent to the laboratory of the World Health Organization in Hong Kong for necessary test for COVID-19.
But now COVID-19 tests are being carried out from 20 plus places of Nepal.
The second case was confirmed on a girl who came to the country from France via Doha, Qatar on 1 April. She had returned home country on 17 March. The third case was confirmed on 25 March.
The COVID-19 case first was seen in Wuhan of China on 31 December 2019. Then it went spreading in Europe, America and India and now is breaking out in Nepal.
Though Nepal had shut down the operation of flights with the gradual rise in risk as a measure to stem the outbreak, the easy entrance of infected people from open border with India has broken out the cases, experts said. The number is increasing with the widening of the testing coverage, shared Assistant Spokesperson at the ministry Dr Bikas Devkota. The infection is on increasing trend of late and has been broken out in 47 districts as of now, he said.
The age class 21-30 has been found with the highest number of infections (449) followed by 254 cases at the group of 11-20 and 287 under age class of 31-40.
As many as 37 children below are found to have been contracted with the virus while only six patients above 71 have been confirmed. Only one above 80 has tested positive for the virus. In an average, patients are staying at the hospital for 18 days.
It may be noted that the government on 23 March had shut the international flights and enforced lockdown since 24 March following the rise in the outbreak of COVID-19. The lockdown is in effect up to 1 June. Doctors have suggested extending the timeline of lockdown. Now the debate is ongoing regarding change in the modality of lockdown. The government has already announced repatriation of Nepali nationals in foreign countries on priority. So, it requires more attention on the proper management of quarantine and isolation facilities.
For fear of coronavirus infection, the government suspended the international flights from 23 March and the nationwide lockdown order was enforced from 24 March.
The lockdown order is effective till June 2. However, the voices have been raised for changing the modality of the lockdown.
Likewise, the government has announced to bring Nepali migrant workers from destination countries on the basis of priority meaning that more precautions, quarantine facilities and isolation are needed with proper management.
In the recent days, journalists, media persons, security personnel and people’s representatives have also tested positive for the virus.
Vice Chairperson of Nepal Medical Association Dr Anil Karki said that government’s proactive roles and additional precautions on the part commoners’ are needed.
So far, 20 security personnel have been confirmed with the virus.
Spokesperson of Nepal Police Niraj Bahadur Shahi said that police force is deployed with high-level security alert at par with standards since the security personnel are deployed in the frontline.
Likewise, the doctors have suggested immediately identifying the infected ones, paying attention for their management and opting for the curative measures as well as tracing the contact of those near ones and increasing surveillance of the suspected. Nepal is also following this model to fight against the coronavirus infection and stop from its further spread.
Similarly, the government has also upped the tests of the suspected ones. So far, 66,729 PCR tests were conducted in Nepal while a total of 107,055 individuals were tested through RDT methods.
In the last 24 hours, over 4,000 individuals underwent their tests, the Ministry said adding that altogether 189 new cases were witnessed in a single day today hitting the tally at 1,401. So far, 219 coronavirus infected ones fully recovered and were discharged from the hospitals. RSS

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