NEPALGUNJ, April 16: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Nepalgunj once again. Academic institutions are seen to be highly vulnerable to COVID-19 as a number of students and teachers have already been infected with the virus.
Recently, COVID-19 was confirmed in 14 people including teachers and students in Nepalgunj. According to Gorakh Bahadur Thapa, chief of the Education Department, those who tested positive for the virus include two teachers and two students of Dhambojhi Higher Secondary School, two students of Mangal Prasad Secondary School, three students of St Thomas Boarding School, one teacher each of Waterpark, Mahendra and Adarsh Secondary School and one student each from Adarsh School and Sun Beam Secondary School.
“These are the confirmed cases so far. We suspect that many other school teachers and students might have been infected with the coronavirus. Some people might be hiding the cases. We are trying to trace the infected students and teachers,” said Thapa. “The virus has spread in most of the schools. The situation is very dangerous.”
Apart from schools, the infection has also spread in the slums. According to Bheri Hospital, most of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 lately are teachers, students and parents. Although some schools adhere to the health protocols, many are seen showing gross negligence in implementing the health protocols. “The newly-infected patients are usually from schools. The authorities concerned were not serious enough to close the schools to control the spread of the infection,” complained a parent.
Tej Oli, the focal person of the District COVID-19 Crisis Management Center, said the number of active COVID-19 cases in Banke district has reached 282 as of Thursday. At present, 74 people are admitted to the COVID ward at Bheri Hospital. Of them, 49 are in critical condition and seven others are undergoing treatment with ventilator support. In Banke, 5,043 people have tested positive for COVID-19, while 4,702 have been discharged and 59 have died so far, according to the District COVID-19 Crisis Management Center.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolis Disaster Management Committee held on Thursday decided to close schools for one week from next Sunday. Deputy Mayor Uma Thapa Magar informed the media that the decision to close schools for a week starting Sunday was taken in view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the city. “As the infection spread rapidly in schools, there was no option to stop physical classes,” she said. “We had proposed to close schools from Friday but a decision was made to close the schools from Sunday.”