Five COVID-19 patients have already died in quarantine facilities
KATHMANDU, June 1: On Saturday, a 35-year-old man from Dullu Municipality in Dailekh died in a quarantine facility. The swab sample of the India-returnee later tested positive for coronavirus.
Of the total eight deaths due to COVID-19 in Nepal, five have taken place in quarantine facilities. Those five tested positive only after their deaths.
“People are dying in quarantine facilities. This shows that the government has failed to manage the quarantine facilities. In general, those with no symptoms are kept at a quarantine facility. But, those having coronavirus-like symptoms are also kept in quarantine facilities rather than admitting them to isolation units,” a virologist at a government hospital, told Republica Online on condition of anonymity.
The doctor further said that quarantine facilities in Nepal are below the standards. “People are sharing beds, towels and washrooms. The government has failed to provide even basic service at the quarantine facilities. Will this situation help curb the spread of coronavirus?” the doctor questions.
“All the five deaths in quarantine facilities could have been avoided had there been the presence of health workers and proper ambulance service in place. As quarantine facilities are still mismanaged, we could see more deaths in the days to come.”
By the time of writing this news, the government has put a total of 119,192 people at different quarantine facilities across the nation.
“It is strange that people are dying in quarantine facilities. As per the guidelines, health workers should be present at quarantine facilities round the clock, but the scenario is quite different. Also, those kept at quarantine facilities are not getting nutritious diets,” said the doctor, adding that unmanaged quarantine facilities put everyone – those quarantined, security officials and health care workers – at risk.
Likewise, Dr Anup Subedi, a specialist of infectious disease at HAMS Hospital, also said that the government has failed to manage the quarantine facilities as per its own standards. “It is unforgivable that people have died in quarantine without the presence of health care workers,” said Dr Subedi, adding that the government has been taking the issue lightly.
“There should be the presence of healthcare workers and 24-hour ambulance service at quarantine facilities,” he said, adding that with below-par standards there is a risk of virus spreading at the quarantine set ups.
Dr Subedi also accepted that some of the deaths that have taken place at quarantine facilities could have been avoided if healthcare workers and ambulance service were available there as per the guidelines.