Banke youth succumbs to novel coronavirus disease


Nepalgunj, May 17

A 25-year-old man infected with COVID-19 died at Banke’s Narainapur Rural Municipality this morning.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Bikash Devkota confirmed that the youth succumbed to the disease at 6:40 am today. His swab samples were tested using polymerase chain reaction method after his death and they tested positive for the disease in Bheri Hospital, Nepalgunj.

The youth had been quarantined at Dipendra Secondary School, Bhojbhagawanpur, in Narainapur Rural Municipality, Banke, since his return from India on May 12. He was suffering from diarrhoea and fever and had vomited before breathing his last. Locals have alleged that he died because he didn’t get timely treatment as he could not be taken to a hospital.

Locals alleged that the youth could not be taken to Bheri Hospital in Nepalgunj as the ambulance driver refused to ferry him due to lack of PPE. Banke-based COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre had decided to keep an ambulance and a driver on standby at every local level.

Narainapur Rural Municipality Chairman Ishtiyak Ahmad Sah said the youth had walked for two weeks to reach Nepal.

“His legs had swollen and he had fever. He was gasping for breath on Saturday night,” said Sah. He added that the youth died while authorities at the quarantine centre were trying to arrange an ambulance.

Others at the quarantine centre also alleged that the youth died of lack of timely treatment. “He kept vomiting on Saturday night. There was no health worker at the quarantine at that hour,” said a man residing in the same quarantine centre.

They alleged that Narainapur Rural Municipality Ward No 6 Secretary Jivanlal Yadav, who has been managing the quarantine, had gone out of contact.

Those quarantined at the centre wish to go home, alleging that the quarantine centre lacks proper health facilities.

Banke CDO Kumar Bahadur Khadka said a team of health workers had been dispatched to the quarantine facility.

Rural Municipality Secretary Laxmikant Mishra said three health workers had been put on duty at the quarantine facility.

One of the two ambulances in the local level will be used for those quarantined, he added.

The youth was later laid to rest by Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police personnel, added Mishra.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 18, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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