KATHMANDU, March 30: After several news reports emerged that patients with coronavirus-like symptoms were not attended by medics, the government on Sunday directed hospitals across the country to provide proper health care service to patients needing urgent health assistance .
In a press briefing, spokesperson at the Ministry for Health and Population Bikash Devkota said that the government has already directed hospitals not to neglect their duties.
Devkota added that the government would take strict action if any hospital is found to be turning back patients.
The government has designated several hospitals across the country to provide health care to coronavirus suspects. Those hospitals include hub hospitals, zonal hospitals, provincial hospitals, teaching hospitals, among several other hospitals.
The government had recently provided Rs one million to each hub hospital to get braced for coronavirus epidemic. It had provided the amount to nine different private hospitals of the Kathmandu Valley.
In a bid to prevent a possible outbreak of COVID-19, the government had directed hospitals with 50 or more beds inside the Kathmandu Valley to suspend non-urgent health checkups and surgeries till April 12. After the decision, several cases in which patients with coronavirus-like symptoms were returned from the hospitals were reported.
Likewise, the ministry had also directed hospitals with capacity of more than 100 beds to run fever clinic to test the suspected cases of coronavirus effectively.
As per the directive, hospitals should keep the suspected patients in isolation without referring them to other hospitals. If the test result comes positive, the patient should be sent to the hospitals recommended by the government while ensuring that the virus doesn't spread among the public.
Meanwhile, a coronavirus suspect, who was quarantined at the Butwal-based Corona Special Hospital, has died on Sunday. According to Devkota, the swab sample of the suspect is currently being tested at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Teku.
“We don't know if the suspect died of coronavirus. The report will clear the doubts,” Devkota said, adding that the government is searching for those who had shared flights with the coronavirus patient.
He said that almost everyone who shared flight with coronavirus patient has been traced.
Till Saturday evening, the Teku-based NPHL has tested 917 swab samples of suspects of which five have tested positive. Of the five patients, one has already recovered, while four are currently undergoing treatment.