Rupandehi COVID-19 patient sneaked into Nepal  from India on April 17

Published On: May 1, 2020 08:10 PM NPT By: Rekha Bhusal

BUTWAL, May 1: Province 5 reported a COVID-19 case for the first time on Friday as two men tested positive for this deadly virus via the PCR method conducted at the Kathmandu-based National Public Health Laboratory. 

Of the two, one is a 25-year-old youth from Rupandehi while the other is a 60-year-old man from Nepalgunj, Banke. 

Earlier, the swab sample report of the Rupandehi youth had come negative at a lab in Bhairahawa, according to Dr Rajendra Kumar Giri, chief at the Provincial Public Health Laboratory. 

The youth was sent to the Butwal-based COVID-19 hospital. He is normal as of Friday evening, according to the hospital administration. His family members have been quarantined at home. “We have already started collecting the swab samples of his family members and tracing his contacts,” informed Dr Binod Giri, director at the Provincial Health Directorate. 

An India-returnee 

It has been learnt that the young man is from Kotahimai Rural Municipality-1, Sipawa, and has been staying at a quarantine facility set up at Marchwar Adarsha Secondary School. He returned from the Indian capital New Delhi on April 17 and entered Nepal secretly. After arriving at the Nepal-India border on a vehicle carrying goods, he sneaked into Nepal via the porous border. He phoned his elder brother as soon as he entered the Nepali side of the border. His brother picked him up from there on his bicycle and took him directly to the quarantine facility in their village. 

At least 16 people, who had returned from India,  have been staying at the quarantine facility in the rural municipality after the lockdown was imposed on March 24. Although it is said that cross-border movement has been restricted due to the lockdown, a large number of people are still entering Province 5 illegally from across the border, thus, increasing the risk of the spread of this pandemic. 

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