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Bhaktapur local govts working hard to contain virus



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By Indira Aryal
Bhaktapur, Aug. 31: Local representatives are quite worried as the COVID-19 cases have continued to rise in Bhaktapur district in the past one month. At least 15 per cent of the cases involve local people without any travel history hinting at the surge of local transmission in the district. So far, 456 people have been infected in the district. Eighty-five per cent diagnosed with the virus are from outside the district.
Madhyapur Thimi Municipality has the largest number of infections at 200 as per the infection record of Saturday. Wards 3 and 5 share the largest number of infected people in the municipality.
Ward No. 3 of the municipality has 65 cases. This ward comprises the area such as Gatthaghar and Kausaltar. In Ward No. 5 as many as 12 local people have tested positive for the virus, said chief at the District Health Office, Bhaktapur Krishna Bahadur Mijar.
Mijar said that making people aware about the transmission of the disease, testing and keeping isolation ready are the main works as of now.
Mayor of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality Madan Sundar Shrestha said that the probability of community transmission is a major challenge to deal with the transmission. “At present, testing is being done at the community level. We run our own lab. We are conducting 300 to 350 tests daily at Nepal-Korea Municipality Friendly Hospital,” he said.
Shrestha said that the municipality had been working on contact tracing and community testing after detecting infection among the local people who did not have any travel history. “The municipality has also brought PCR testing kit worth Rs. 4 million from Singapore from its own resources to increase testing capacity,” he added
“We have separated Rs. 50 million for the prevention and control of coronavirus. We have also formed nine teams of CICI (Case Investigation and Contract Identification) to identify more cases,” Mayor Shrestha said.
So far, the condition of the infected is normal except for two persons who are in ICU ward. About 115 people are in home isolation. There are 85 people in different isolation centres.
The municipality hospital has 20-bed isolation ward. There is also a plan to add isolation of 800 to 1000 beds in four municipalities of Bhaktapur. For this, there are 300 beds in Kharipati in Bhaktapur and 300 beds in Kathmandu Medical College, he informed.
A 75-bed isolation ward is being planned at Bhaktapur Hospital and 500 beds are being prepared so far.
Along with contact tracing and testing, lockdown and prohibition have also been imposed to check community transmission.
“All four municipalities are in the process of detecting and isolating the infected by testing as many people as possible coming into close contact with the infected people,” he said.
A man n suffering from COVID-19 and being treated at home isolation in the district died on Saturday night. He died at his own house in Dhudhpati of Bhaktapur Municipality-1. 
The 65-year-old man, who was also suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, died suddenly, according to Mijar.