BIRGUNJ, August 1: A 73-year-old man died of COVID-19 on July 16. He had returned to Rajbiraj from India on July 4.
According to the Chief of the District Health Office, Duniyalal Yadav, 29 more people tested positive for COVID-19 after contact tracing and similarly, while contact tracing those infected, 55 more new cases were detected. After this incident, community transmission of the COVID-19 is feared.
In the meantime, a 38 years old man from Sahidnagar Municipality succumbed to COVID-19 due to the lack of a ventilator at the Provincial Hospital, Janakpur, where he was undergoing treatment, last Sunday.
On Thursday, three more COVID-19 patients died in Gandak COVID Hospital taking the COVID-19 death toll in the province to 17. As of July 31, 4,673 people in the province have already contracted coronavirus.
However, the infrastructure, preparation and paradeness against this spread of COVID-19 are lacking. The local authorities and stakeholders seem unaware about the situation.
According to Dr Madan Upadhya, the chief doctor of Narayani Hospital, Birgunj, the isolation centers are already occupied, Intensive Care Unit, Medicines and other infrastructures are lacking. The Narayani Hospital has only a 50-bed isolation center but the number of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the hospital is above 200. More than 58 COVID-19 patients are in ‘Forced Isolation’ at their homes and others are in schools and lodges.
“More than 50 percent of COVID-19 patients in Province 2 are in need of treatment in the Intensive Care Unit(ICU),” said Dr Upadhya. “Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of COVID-19 patients are undergoing treatment in ICU.”
When combined, there are only five ventilators - two at Narayani Hospital, Birgunj and three at the Provincial Hospital, Janakpur - in eight districts of the province.
The first case of COVID-19 in the province was detected in the month of March- the number was three. Then in April, 92 cases were confirmed and in May 1,919 cases were confirmed. Similarly, in June, 1,897 cases and till July 30, 704 new cases were recorded taking the total cases to 4,615.
All eight districts have open borders with the neighbouring states of India. The flow of migrant laborers has not stopped despite the border closure. The government of Nepal is not doing much to control it. People are found defying health security measures. Hospitals are already occupied. The cases are increasing daily and the Nepal government seems ok with it.