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Nepal Health Ministry prepares to declare the state of ‘public health emergency

KATHMANDU:- The Ministry of Health and Population is preparing to declare the ‘state of health emergency’. The ministry is preparing to get the declaration of health emergency endorsed from the Cabinet as per the COVID-19 pandemic health sector emergency plan with the spur in infection cases in the country.
Ministry spokesperson Dr Bikas Devkota shared that preparation was underway to declare the state of health emergency after the infected tally exceeds 2,000 as per the emergency plan. The Cabinet meeting can declare the state of health emergency acting on the proposal of the health ministry.
The Ministry has designated its secretary Laxman Aryal to issue directive as per the Infectious Disease Act-2020 BS. According to the emergency plan, it is considered level two when the number of infected remains at the range of 2,000 to 5,000 and at this situation the ‘state of public health emergency’ can be declared in line with the ‘Public Health Service Act, 2075 BS’.
The measures for prevention and control of coronavirus would be different once the state of emergency was endorsed from the cabinet, said ministry’s assistant spokesperson Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari. “With this the infected without symptoms would then be shifted to isolation ward at home from the hospital”, he said, adding the coronavirus-infected patients should stay at home isolation in normal condition except the most urgent situation following the enforcement of emergency.
At this level, 80 per cent isolation beds of all the corona dedicated hospitals across the country could have developed capacity to provide treatment to 4,000 infected people. If this level exceeds, the hospitals which are not declared to be corona dedicated and all private hospitals should mandatorily test and treat coronavirus disease.
The World Health Organization had declared the global public health emergency after the infection crossed level-3. In this situation, the global production and supply system would be broken down.
Presently Nepal has total 26,930 hospital including private and public, 1,595 intensive care unit, 840 ventilators, 194 hospitals with ICU and 111 with corona clinics.
The plan has stipulated that the existing health system could manage the situation up to level-2 and international humanitarian assistance is required when it exceeds level 3.

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