DHANGADHI, April 5: What had been feared in the far-west for some time has now come true with a person without any recent travel history testing positive for the novel coronavirus. While three people from Sudurpaschim Province tested positive for COVID19 on Saturday alone, the infection has been confirmed in a relative of a person who had earlier tested positive. She is a 34-year-old woman from Dhangadhi Sub Metropolis -5. The other two to have tested positive for the disease are a 21-year-old man from Kailali Lamkichuha Municipality-9 and a 41-year-old man from Kancanpur Bedkot Municipality -10, who recently returned from India. The local transmission of the disease has now alarmed everyone, while doctors have termed this situation as dangerous.
Also according to the spokesperson for the health and population ministry, Dr Bikas Devkota, now the disease has entered its "second phase" in the country. Earlier, only those who have recently made a comeback to Nepal tested positive for this virus.
Chief at the emergency department of Seti Provincial Hospital, Dr Jagdish Joshi, who is in the frontline for the treatment of COVID19, has meanwhile urged for rapid tests among the people and the communities without any delay. "Local transmission has surfaced. We need to test more and more people without any delay and isolate them immediately," he said. "Or else, things can go out of hand."
The three recently tested positive for COVID19 have not shown any symptoms of the disease so far. Dr Joshi stated that this is even more alarming. All three were admitted to the provincial hospital on Saturday.
Among the three, the lady is the sister-in-law of a man who returned from Dubai and reached Dhangadhi on 21 March and tested positive for COVID19 four days later.
Following this, the samples of 10 of his relatives and family members were sent for test last Wednesday. While all others' results have come negative, the lady's result came positive for COVID19.
The other two who tested positive for the disease are from quarantines in Kailai and Kanchanpur. Their samples including that of 89 others from the quarantines were collected by the medical team of Nepal Army and sent for tests on Thursday. Others' results have come negative.
Remarkably, the two men now seen infected by the novel coronavirus had widely got mixed in mobs while crossing the borders. They are among those who protested and chanted slogans for an easy entry into Nepal amid lockdowns announced in both Nepal and India. According to DSP Daskhya Bahadur Basnet, they got mixed up with thousands of people. "It was much later they were quarantined," he said. "They came from Mumbai and Jharkhand of India," he added.
It has also come to the fore that one of the infected persons lived with many under a single tent before and after crossing the border. So far, a total of 151 samples have been tested for COVID19 in Sudurpaschim and four of them have tested positive.