KATHMANDU, April 15: Two COVID-19 suspects, who tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, had arrived in Nepal via a Qatar Airways flight on March 18, according to Nepal Police. On Monday, three members of the same family – residing at Sun City Apartments at Pepsicola in Kathmandu – were taken to Patan Hospital after testing positive for the new coronavirus through the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) method.
“The three passengers had come to Nepal via flight QR644 of Qatar Airways on March 18,” said DIG Bishwa Raj Pokharel, chief of Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari.
According to the Department of Immigration (DoI), flight QR644 took off from Doha and landed at Tribhuvan International Airport at 1 pm on March 18. “There were 153 passengers on board. Details of the passengers have already been provided to the authorities concerned,” the DoI director general told Repubica.
After receiving the details of the flight, police started contact-tracing the passengers . “We learnt about the details of the flight Monday morning. We have already started to trace those the passengers came in contact with,” said DIG Pokharel.
“Of the three COVID-19 suspects residing at Sun City Apartments, two tested positive for the virus. The two are a 58-year-old male and an 81-year-old female. The test result for another suspect is yet to come in,” according to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP).
Speaking at a regular press briefing, Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson of MoHP, said that the condition of both the positive-testing individuals is normal. Currently, they are in isolation wards at Patan Hospital.
The spokesperson further informed that the ministry has already started testing swab samples of other people living at Sun City Apartments.
“The government has been testing COVID-19 suspects through the RDT method all over the country. Medics have reported a few positive cases. These cases will be confirmed through the PCR method,” Dr Devkota said, claiming that the three UK-returnees had been in home quarantine since arriving in Nepal.
They were tested as per the decision of the government to test all individuals arriving in Nepal after mid-March. There are more than 500 families residing at the Pepsiola apartments.
With the confirmation of two new cases, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Nepal has now reached 16, with one patient already having recovered from the infection.