KATHMANDU, March 25: With one more case of the novel coronavirus infection surfacing, the provincial and local governments in the country are focused on the expansion of health care centers and isolation wards. Gandaki, Karnali, Bagamti and other provincial governments have established temporary hospitals as well as directed all existing hospitals to prioritize coronavirus-infected patients over regular ones.
In Province 5 all 12 districts now have isolation wards. There are 19 government and private hospitals in the province with 113 isolation beds for now. This is going to be extended further, according to the authorities.
Apart from this, new isolation hospitals have been established recently in Rupandehi, Dang and Banke districts. A factory in Butwal has been converted into a 48-bed hospital and it has already started operating. The provincial government has tried its best to avail the maximum number of ventilators and a ‘corona ambulance’, according to Dr Rajendra Khanal, medical superintendent of Lumbini Regional Hospital. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for all health workers has been assured, he said.
In Rolpa, the administration has been preparing to use public schools as emergency care centers. According to Rudraghanti Rural Municipality, a total of 15 isolation beds are going to be readied.
In Kapilvastu, all 10 municipalities and rural municipalities in the district now have quarantine centers. CDO Dirgha Narayan Poudel stated that there are a few isolation wards in the district and more are in the offing.
Similarly, CDO of Palpa, Yadav Subedi, informed that health workers are being trained to handle coronavirus-related cases. “We are worried about equipment and management matters,” he said.
The provincial health directorate of Gandaki Province has stated that all health care centers and hospitals would focus on the current menace of coronavirus for now. Doctors and other health professionals have been asked to brace themselves for a worst case scenario.
According to Dr Binod Bindu Sharma, head of the health directorate of Gandaki, all efforts have been made to stop the deadly virus from spreading further in the country. “We have completely closed down the OPD services. All the focus is on preparations to fight coronavirus, “he said.
The province plans to change a few public facilities for quarantine use including Pokhara stadium, according to Sharma.
CDO of Tanahun, Badrinath Adhikari, stated that all municipality and rural municipality wards in the district will have quarantine centers. Similarly, the number of health desks have been extended. “We have given the responsibility of establishing quarantine centers to the local levels,” he said.
In Myagdi, all the rural municipalities and municipalities have been ordered to build quarantine centers as well as collect information on those who recently returned from travel abroad.
“Information collection is a vital part, and we are serious about that. Similarly, we have given strict guidelines regarding home quarantines,” said Gyannath Dhakal, the CDO. He added that the travel history of foreign nationals who are in Myagdi is also being sought.