KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates from across the country on government’s response to COVID-19 crisis.
In an attempt to increase the testing for COVID-19 infection, the government had decided to authorise designated public health facilities as well as non-profit community hospitals to test willing Nepali and foreign nationals through RT-PCR method, given that they follow guidelines including regular reporting of performed tests as well as maintaining secrecy of results witnessed, as prescribed by the Kathmandu-based National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).
However, the pricing of the test, along with security arrangements and design of the labs are yet to be determined by the Ministry. Some of the media outlets had reported that the expense of the RT-PCR testing would be as high as NRs. 15,000. However, the Ministry today denied all claims on the fixation of costs to conduct the test. Furthermore, it appealed to the media outlets in the country to refrain from spreading any misinformation and to support in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of today, 110,566 tests — including 35,494 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 75,072 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — have been carried out, where 6,098 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours.
At present, there are 23,202 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country.
The government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid19.mohp.gov.np have registered 1,363 entries in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of self-evaluated entries to 45,450.
Fifteen new persons have been added to the red-zone list in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of those in the red zone to 427. Their contact tracing is being carried out by the concerned authorities.
Eight patients undergoing treatment for the coronavirus contagion at Biratnagar-based Koshi Hospital, residents of Udayapur district, have tested negative for the virus through PCR testing. The patients have been discharged today after a 29 to 33 days of hospital-stay, informed the Ministry.
In one of today’s major developments, 25 new cases of COVID-19 infection were confirmed with as many as 13 cases from Kapilvastu alone. Among the infected are 18 males and seven females who are in age group of three to 48 years.
Six persons including five males of ages 17, 20, 28, 30, 40 years of Narainapur-5 and a 27-yr-old female from Khajura-5 are from Banke district; five persons including four males of ages 28, 29, 35, 37 years and a 24-year-old female are from Dhankuta district; and a 26-year-old male is from Nawalparasi (West), who it has been learnt was kept in Belbani quarantine facility of Susta Rural Municipality-5.
Similarly, among the 13 infected from Kapilvastu are three males of ages 22, 35 and 48 staying at a quarantine facility in Bijaynagar, six females of ages 3, 4, 6, 16, 25, 32 from Maharajgunj Rural Municipality and four males of ages 12, 20, 24 and 34.
As of today, the country has witnessed 427 cases of coronavirus infection including 358 males and 69 females while 45 persons have been discharged from the hospitals. Two COVID-19 fatalities have been confirmed.
Dr Bikash Devkota, speaking on behalf of the Ministry, notified that a COVID-19 infected patient undergoing treatment at Crimson Hospital in Rupandehi district is in critical condition and on a ventilator. Some of the media outlets, this morning, had published wrong information that he had passed away. In this connection, the Ministry appealed to media personnel to only generate verified information as news, condemning such acts of sensationalisation.