KATHMANDU, April 14: After three members of a family residing in the Sun City Apartments in Kathmandu tested positive for the coronavirus through rapid diagnostic test (RDT) on Monday, the government is preparing to test the swab samples of the entire residents of the apartments from Tuesday.
It has been learnt that the family had returned to Kathmandu from the United Kingdom 28 days ago.
According to a high-level government official, they [UK returnees] were tested as per the decision of the government to test all the individuals arriving in Nepal after mid-March.
“The suspects are asymptomatic. The family had been staying in-home quarantine after arriving in Nepal,” said the official. “As the RDT method showed three members of the same family are positive, the swab samples of the entire residents of the apartments will be tested from Tuesday.”
After the test results came positive, the Ministry of Health and Population took the family members to the Patan Hospital. Currently, they have been admitted to the isolation ward of the hospital.
“Their condition is normal. The swab samples have been sent to the Teku-based National Public Health Laboratory for further confirmation for COVID-19 testing through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method,” Dr Bishnu Sharma, director of Patan Hospital, told Republica.
“The suspects tested positive for COVID-19 through the RDT method. The results from PCR test might come by tomorrow [Tuesday] afternoon,” said Sharma, adding that two of the suspects are women, and one is a man.
Following the incident, police have sealed the apartments and the movement of people near the area has been restricted. “Police have not allowed the movement. Also, the residents of the apartments are not allowed to get out from their flats,” a resident of the apartments, told over a phone call, adding that even the residents were not allowed to enter the apartments.
In the meantime, an epidemiologist said that the test results of RDT method are not always correct. “In several cases, the PCR method tests the samples negative,” said the doctor, adding that the incident shows why the public needs to obey the lockdown enforced by the government.
Until Monday evening, the Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed a total of 14 COVID-19 cases, with one patient already recovering from the disease.