On Friday, a whopping 14 new COVID-19 cases came to light. It was the largest number of virus-infected patients detected in a single day. The news must have sent a chill down the spine of Nepalis who have been confined within their house after the country enforced the lockdown to prevent the transmission of deadly virus. What is the more perplexing matter is that 11 out of 12 infected persons had come from India and were taking a shelter at a local mosque in Triyuga Municipality of Udaypur district. Earlier, three Indian residing at a local mosque in Birgunj had also tested positive. The health officials are still clueless about the sources of virus they are infected with as they are struggling to untangle their travel history and trace their contacts. But one thing is clear they got infected outside Nepal and have not yet transmitted the virus to the local people here. Nonetheless, as the media reports claim, Birgunj and Udaypur ring alarm bells so the government needs to mobilise additional resources to contain the virus’s spread in these places.
The Government of Nepal has deployed extra number of security personnel to patrol the areas along the Nepal-India border that has been open and unregulated for decades. The CVOID-19 cases found in Birgunj and Udaypur remind the urgency to tighten the border security in view of the growing number of infections in India. In order to escape the looming pandemic, many Indians residing near the areas bordering Nepal might be inclined to slip into our country’s territory. Therefore, the authorities from both nations should work together to control the cross-border movements of the people during the lockdown period. The spread of coronavirus is a serious threat to public health so there is no room for complacency and lax security.
The Government of Nepal is doing everything in its capacity to stanch the possible breakout of virus in the country. Now the performance of state-run hospitals is satisfactory as no virus-infected persons have experienced serious health complications. According to the news report of this daily, the condition of all infected patients in Nepal is normal while one of them has already recovered. Of total 30 COVID-19 patients, 15 are being treated at Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH). They are likely to be discharged from the hospital after testing negative for the virus. This is encouraging news thanks to the doctors and other staff who are working hard in the service of the patients. The hospital is taking at least 10 virus suspects on daily basis and treating them by keeping them in isolation.
It is the referral hospital for any kind of infectious diseases but it lacks sufficient infrastructure such as ICU beds and advanced medical equipment. Now the coronavirus pandemic has increased the importance of hospital as the private health institutions have refused to treat the coronavirus patients. This is time to improve the infrastructure of the STIDH. At the same time, the doctors need to be motivated and advised to take utmost caution for the virus has the propensity to spread faster within a short span of time. There should be mutual cooperation between the doctors and patients for their effective treatment and cure.