By Ajita Rijal
Kathmandu, Feb. 20: The 175 Nepalese airlifted by the government from Hubei Province’s Wuhan city, China on Sunday, have been tested negative for coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) confirmed this Wednesday at a press conference held at the Ministry.
“Corona virus infection was not found in any of the 175 evacuated from China”, said MoHP Secretary Khagaraj Baral.
“As per the information received from National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) on the tests carried out on the nasal and oropharyngeal swab of the 175 people through the Real Time RT-PCR system, none of the sample had any infection of COVID-19,” the Health Ministry informed.
At the press conference, MoHP Spokespersons Mahendra Prasad Shrestha said that as per the examination reports, it was confirmed that none of those repatriated from Wuhan had coronavirus infection.
Earlier, on Sunday morning, upon arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), all the 175, including 135 male and 40 female, were taken directly from TIA to the quarantine station set up at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Training Center in Kharipati, Bhaktapur.
Later in the day, technical staff from the NPHL had reached the quarantine station and collected throat swabs and samples on the spot from all 175 and brought it for examination to NPHL, Teku. Intensive tests were carried out over the past three days, between 16-18 February, at NPHL.
Meanwhile, MoHP Spokesperson Shrestha said that as per the procedure, another test will be carried out again at the end of the current quarantine period of 14 days and samples will be re-collected on March 2, from all the 175 for further re-examination at NPHL.
According to Spokesperson Shrestha, a total of 210 people have undergone tests for coronavirus suspicion over the past one month, with only one person testing positive, who was cured and has returned home.
‘We have also been checking on the Chinese nationals arriving at the airport’ he added.
According to latest CNN report of Wednesday 19 February, the coronavirus death toll figure worldwide has reached above 2,000, with more than 75,000 people infected.