Coronavirus infected persons moving freely in Bajura


Bajura, June 22

Locals in Bajura expressed concern about the risk of contracting COVID-19 from infected persons moving about freely in their locality.

A case in point, Badimalika Municipality has 40 COVID-19 infected cases.

Of them, 32 were sent home before their test reports came out.

Though they have now been confirmed positive on the basis of test reports, they are moving out and about defying the authorities’ advice to stay in home quarantine, nobody, especially the authorities concerned, seem to be bothered about this.

“We have 14 infected cases in our village.

They use the same latrine at their home and the same village tap and are moving around in the village freely. We’re really scared they could transmit the virus,” said Samin Saud, a local of Mana, Badimalika Municipality.

Former chairperson of Federation of Nepali Journalists, Bajura chapter, Madan Rajaishi claimed the infection had spread in the community. “We don’t know that simply because there hasn’t been any testing, even of persons who have come in contact with infected persons.”

Regarding the municipality’s decision to send the infected persons home, Badimalika Municipality Mayor Padam Baduwal argued they were sent home on the condition that they stay in home quarantine.

“Their reports didn’t come even after two weeks, so we had to send them home as they badly wanted to go home and didn’t show any symptom by that time.

But they were told to stay in home-quarantine,” said the mayor.

Public Health Office Bajura Chief Dayakrishna Panta said the decision to send quarantined people home after two-week quarantine period was taken in line with the government policy. “The decision to send people who have spent two weeks in quarantine is in keeping with the government criteria,” he said.

Meanwhile, six health workers and two security persons tested positive for the virus in the municipality.

The infection was confirmed on Thursday. Locals fear many might have come in contact with them before they tested positive.

Elsewhere in the district, 19 persons tested positive in Dhuralsain Secondary School-based quarantine shelter in Budhiganga Municipality. Once the test results were out days after their swabs were collected, some 107 persons, who tested negative, were sent home.

The return of persons, who had stayed in the same quarantine shelter with the 19 positive cases, has caused fear among villagers.

“They were sent home after they tested negative in the swab samples that were collected 11 days ago, but what about the possibility of them contracting the virus in the 11-day period after their swab samples were collected,” asked a local, adding that the infection might have already spread in the locality.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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