Nepali man suspected to have been infected with the new strain of coronavirus dischargedBlood and sputum collected from the patient, who returned from China earlier this month, will be sent abroad for tests, doctors say.
A Nepali man, who recently returned from Wuhan city of China, and was under observation at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Control Hospital, Teku after he was quarantined with a mystery strain of coronavirus, has been discharged.
The 31-year-old man, who is doing his PhD in Wuhan, had returned from the Chinese city on January 5. He had visited the hospital for respiratory problems and was admitted on January 13, according to doctors.
Dr Basudev Pandey, director at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Control Hospital, Teku, told the Post on Friday that the man was under observation for suspected infection of the new strain of coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan.
The doctors discharged the man on Friday after his health condition improved following treatment.
Doctors said the man could not be tested for coronavirus for the lack of kit.
The hospital is preparing to send the samples collected from the man abroad for tests, said a doctor at the hospital.
“We have also informed the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation’s country office in Nepal regarding the possible spread of the mystery strain of coronavirus in Nepal,” said Pandey.
The WHO last week warned about the risk of possible transmission of a new strain of coronavirus. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health and Population deployed a medical doctor to the Tribhuvan International Airport health desk. But the country’s international airport still doesn’t have a dedicated facility to isolate a suspected passenger infected with any risky diseases.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of April 1, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. As of Wednesday, Covid-19 had spread to 199 countries and infected more than 889,504 people with 44,916 deaths. In South Asia, Pakistan has reported the highest number of infections at 2,071 with 26 deaths. While India has reported 1,637 confirmed cases with 38 deaths. Nepal has so far reported five cases, in which one patient recovered.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.