KATHMANDU, April 25: The medical treatment provided to COVID-19 patients in Nepal is ineffective as the country battles the second wave of the viral disease, according to the Health Emergency and Disaster Management Unit (HEDMU) of the Ministry of Health and Population.
Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari, spokesperson for the ministry who is also the coordinator of HEDMU, said the medicines and treatments like Remdesivir, plasma therapy, oxygen therapy that were previously used to cure the infection have turned out to be ineffective for patients who reached the hospitals after the second wave hit the country.
He said that the situation was worrying the unit and the ministry as the patients were not cured by the treatment after being admitted to hospitals. Talking to Republica on Saturday evening, he said, “What to do even if the person gets admitted to the hospital when there is no cure? It is hard to save patients in serious condition.” He added that it has become uncommon to recover patients who are admitted to ICU and ventilators. “It is not easy to help patients recover at the moment,” he said.
The recovery period of the hospitalized patients is getting longer, said Dr Prabin Nepal, coordinator of COVID treatment at Armed Police Force, Balambu. “Patients who have tested positive in the last 10 days have not been able to recover quickly,” he said. He said that due to the increase in the number of critically ill patients in the hospital, not all of them were able to get proper treatment. “The increase in the number of infected means an increase in the number of seriously ill patients. Being seriously ill also means an increase in the number of deaths,” he said.
Dr Santa Kumar Das, coordinator of COVID treatment at Teaching Hospital said most deaths during the treatment were due to chronic diseases such as kidney and liver disorders and cancer. He said that it was not possible to say whether the medicines are working or not. As the second wave is completely different from the first wave, the authorities are requesting the general public and all government bodies to strictly follow the order issued by the Ministry of Health to avoid the infection.
He said that even the health workers were saddened by the sight of the young corona patients who died in front of their eyes. “Neither the citizens nor the leaders took COVID-19 seriously. To understand what corona is, one has to watch the death scenes at the hospitals,” he said. Dr Das blamed the government for failing to make people comply with the standards set by the government, the open border checkpoints and the weak contact tracing system.
“The task of enforcing the standards is not only the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, it is the responsibility of everybody. Even now, the border checkpoints are open, there has been no reduction in crowds in public buses, processions and banquets," he said.
Officials suggested that the infection could be prevented only if all these bodies were brought under strict standards. He further added that the second wave of the coronavirus infection was more complicated than the first one, adding that there was no way to save the lives of the people unless lockdown is imposed right away. “Saving lives rather than people's economic activities is the demand of the current situation. The time has come for the concerned bodies to pay attention,” he said.