Many COVID-19 patients died due to lack of proper treatment

Published On: May 15, 2021 03:18 PM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, May 15: As many as 1,676 people have succumbed to the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak since the start of April. This number has increased over three times than last year. Experts have concluded that the lack of proper treatment in Nepal has been a major reason for the numerous deaths of people suffering from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

They have also stated that the death toll from the second variant of COVID-19 infection will have the same mortality rate as the first wave of the virus outbreak. They say that though the second variant can transmit faster than its predecessor, its symptoms of pneumonia can be identified at an early stage and proper treatment on time can save many lives.

The second variant of COVID-19 develops pneumonia in its host. A pneumonia patient needs an intensive care unit (ICU) and a ventilator to recover and the lack of such facilities and treatments have increased the death tally in Nepal. According to Senior Cardiologist of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Dr Niraj Bam, the death rate has increased due to the lack of proper treatment when numerous people get infected at once. 

Out of the total infected patients, 80 percent show no problems, 15 percent recover with normal treatment and the remaining five percent require ICU’s and ventilators. Experts have stated that the mortality rate would be far low if the hospitals had sufficient COVID-19 wards and ICUs for their patients. 

“Pneumonia starts to develop if a patient is not treated on time. In such cases a patient needs to be treated in an ICU with anti-pneumonia medicines but, if a patient is not admitted to a hospital on time the disease becomes fatal,” Dr Bam said. He also said that the high cost of treatment at private hospitals and the lack of beds in government hospitals have delayed the treatment for many infected patients. 

Doctors say that patients suffering from pneumonia can be treated back to normal with medications like Antiviral and Dexamethasone. According to the spokesperson of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Dr Anup Bastola, “A patient suffering from pneumonia can recover within five days if monitored and treated at an early stage.”

The government did not make any necessary preparations to tackle the threat of COVID-19. The construction of COVID-19 hospitals in all seven provinces which was announced last year has not been completed yet. The announcement to bring 3,500 high dependency units into operation has also not been implemented and neither did the COVID-19 hospitals build any oxygen plants on time. 

“The management is very weak. Everyone was aware of the situation in India. Experts had warned about the second wave of COVID-19 arriving in Nepal as well but both India and Nepal have failed to control the coronavirus,” Dr Bam said. 

The director of COVID-19 Vaccination Management Committee, Dr Shyamraj admits that the number of deaths has increased due to the lack of preparations on time. “Many have died due to lack of medical oxygen,” he said. 

According to the chief of National Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Dr Krishna Paoudel, the death rate has increased due to the large number of people getting infected within a short period of time. He also admits that the preparations to control the pandemic in Nepal was not done as fast as it should have been following the spread of infection in India. He also said that the dire situation was due to the inability of the hospitals to build HDUs and oxygen plants despite the budget given to them by the government last year.


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