Kathmandu, January 28
A patient suspected of coronavirus infection, admitted at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, was discharged from the hospital today. The patient was discharged after coronavirus test reports provided by the National Public Health Laboratory turned out negative.
“From among the four samples tested for coronavirus infection in the laboratory all of them turned out negative,” said Dr Runa Jha.
NPHL had started testing coronavirus in its laboratory from Monday. The laboratory had borrowed reagents for comprehensive tests of the virus from the Centre for Molecular Dynamics Nepal.
Though the patients have been currently discharged from the hospital, there are chances of some others contacting the disease as the disease is spreading globally. Nepal has also reported a confirmed case of coronavirus on January 24.
A 32-year-old Nepali student, who had recently returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan where it is believed the disease first originated, tested positive for coronavirus.
The doctors, therefore, have warned those who have returned from Wuhan and have symptoms of respiratory illnesses, muscle pain, fever and similar other influenza like symptoms to immediately visit the hospital. “We request people with influenza like illness and have returned from Wuhan to immediately come to our hospital,” said Dr Anup Bastola, Spokesperson and Consultant Tropical Medicine at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital.
As there is risk of a rise in the number of suspected cases of coronavirus infection, the government has asked hospitals to come up with contingency plans. “Many hospitals are yet to come up with their plans. If there is an epidemic of the disease in the country then schools too can be used. The patients can also be kept under observation,” said Mahendra Shrestha, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population.
According to the health ministry, ambulances are on standby at Tribhuvan International Airport. “We have kept ambulances on standby for safely transferring suspected patients from airport to the hospital,” added Shrestha.
China had confirmed 106 deaths, including the first death in the capital, Beijing. Over 4,500 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in China. 2019-nCoV cases have also been reported in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Australia, France, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Germany.
As the disease can be transmitted from human to human through droplets, doctors have suggested to clean hands with soap and water, cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow. They have also advised to avoisd close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms and thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
A version of this article appears in print on January 29, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.