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COVID-19 cases stay at 57; measles-rubella vaccination kicks off in Dhading



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By Ajita Rijal

Kathmandu, May 1: No new case of COVID-19 was found on Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) confirmed. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Nepal thus stands at 57 with 16 patients already recovered.
At the regular daily media briefing, MoHP Spokesperson Dr Bikas Devkota shared that 41 COVID-19 patients were undergoing treatment at various designated hospitals in four different locations. Of them, 31 are undergoing treatment in Biratnagar, eight in Birgunj and one each in Dhangadhi and Bharatpur and their health condition is normal as of Thursday.
In the meantime, MoHP shared that 442 self-evaluation forms were filled up by people in 24 hours via the Ministry’s COVID-19 dedicated page https://covid19.mohp.gov.np of which two have fallen under the red zone, said Dr Devkota. ‘The total number of self-evaluation forms filled till date is 29, 137 with 312 falling in the red zone so far,’ Devkota added.
The MoHP has been continuously receiving generous medical equipment support from neighbouring governments and Non-Resident Nepali (NRN) organisations for the testing and prevention of COVID-19. On Thursday, 120 Infrared thermometers, 2,000 face shields, 20,000 disposable masks, 10,000 sets of gloves, and 2000 PPE gowns were received from NRN South Korea by the Ministry in the presence of Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal.
Similarly, 30,000 gloves, 20,000 disposable masks and 1,450 KN-95 masks were received from NRN China, said Dr Devkota.
Furthermore, from China, 200,000 disposable masks were jointly donated by the Buddhist Association of Hainan Province, Hongfa Temple, Chinese Temple in Lumbini and handed over to the Department of Health Services (DoHS).
Breastfeeding does not transfer infection
At the briefing, Dr Devkota referred to the general question if any mother who might have signs of COVID-19 and under quarantine could breastfeed their babies.
He clarified that studies have not shown any infection through breastfeeding so it was safe to give continuity to breastfeeding by taking all necessary precautions.
Dr Devkota advised such breastfeeding mothers to exercise caution and wear mask, properly wash hands before and after coming in touch with the baby and if the mother is too sick, her milk could be pumped and fed through a clean cup or spoon.
For any further information and guidance, the people could easily call the MoHP’s call centre or the nearby health centre while abiding by all the preventive measures on sanitation and hygiene advice to stay safe from COVID-19, as widely broadcast by MoHP on all media nationwide.
185 measles-rubella cases in 8 districts with 2 deaths
At Thursdays’ press briefing, Senior Health Administrator Dr Jhalak Gautam of the Family Welfare Division (FWD) under the DoHS shared the latest status on the news of measles outbreak.
“Since January 2020 to April, 185 cases of measles-rubella have been recorded in eight districts including Jhapa, Sarlahi, Dhading, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Chitwan and Gorkha. These cases were confirmed via laboratory tests of suspected patients,” said Dr Gautam, adding that the age range of the patients fell between 4 months to 40 years.
‘Of the 185, two children have died in Dhading during the month of March. Considering the frequent cases measles in Dhading, we started a vaccination campaign since yesterday, April 29, for a week (until May 5) in the affected areas of Dhading district targeting 20,000 population ranging from six months to 15 years old,” Guatam added.
Meanwhile, Dr Guatam said that there was no shortage of vaccines or vaccination-related materials and that there was three months’ stock of vaccination equipment with regular import/transport going on.
He also urged the health care workers involved in the vaccination to follow the recent directive issued by the DoHS which provides guidelines for the operation of vaccination services during the time of COVID-19 pandemic and asked everyone to strictly abide by it and take all necessary precautions such as using mask, gloves, hand washing, and maintaining distance. For any problem related to the vaccination programme or the child health issues, one can call at 98511-95553, Gautam added.