Fifth COVID-19 case confirmed in Nepal

The fifth case of coronavirus was confirmed in a 19-year-old girl, a resident of Baglung

Mar 29, 2020
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Kathmandu: The fifth case of coronavirus was confirmed in a 19-year-old girl, a resident of Baglung. The teenager had returned from Belgium via Qatar on March 17,” said Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population. The patient is under surveillance and her health condition is said to be normal at present.

“Her throat swab was brought to National Public Health Laboratory for test. The test result, which came out today, showed she was COVID-19 positive,” said Dr Devkota.

The Belgium returnee had come on the same flight from Qatar with the 19-year-old Nepali student from France who tested COVID-19 positive. She is undergoing treatment in the isolation ward at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital. Both of them had boarded the Qatar airways flight number QR 652 on March 17.

The flight the teenagers took from Doha had 158 passengers, including 20 females. Most of them are from Mahottari, Kathmandu, Sarlahi, Baglung, Bhojpur, Dolakha and Banke.

The flight also had people from Rasuwa and Solukhumbu on board, besides an Indian national and a foreigner whose nationality is still unknown. The government had started tracing the whereabouts of those who had boarded the same flight.

“After tracing her, a team deployed from Gandaki Provincial Laboratory had collected her throat swab at her house. The swab was then sent for test to NPHL,” said Dr Basudev Pandey, director at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. “We have begun tracing people the girl has been in contact with after her arrival,” added Dr Pandey.

Yesterday, a 34 year-old-man, a resident of Kailali who had recently returned from Dubai, tested positive for coronavirus. This is the second case of COVID-19 outside the capital. This shows that coronavirus has spread outside the capital. The health ministry had advised people coming to Nepal from foreign countries to remain in self-quarantine. Persons in self-quarantine need to stay in a well-ventilated room and maintain a distance of at least one metre from other persons. The person should limit movement inside the house and shared spaces. S/he should not use public transportation, should wear a face mask and monitor and record temperature once a day, according to the health ministry.

A total of 875 tests have been conducted, out of which 870 have been negative while five tests have come out positive. The first person to test positive for coronavirus was a 32-year-old Nepali, who had returned from Wuhan in January. He has recovered since then.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

A version of this article appears in print on March 29, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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