Nepal's Covid-19 tally reaches 603 after confirmation of 19 new casesWith Nuwakot reporting its first Covid-19 case, the coronavirus has spread to 42 districts.
Nepal’s Covid-19 tally has reached 603 after the confirmation of 19 new cases from 10 different districts on Sunday.
Dr Bikas Devkota, spokesperson for the Health Ministry said that tests conducted at the Kathmandu-based National Public Health Laboratory, the provincial laboratories in Biratnagar and Bhairahawa on samples from 19 individuals came back positive for coronavirus.
“Six persons from Rupandehi, three persons each from Parsa and Kapilvastu, and one person each from Jhapa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Kathmandu, Gulmi and Nuwakot tested positive for Covid-19,” said Devkota at a regular press briefing on Sunday.
This is the first case of Covid-19 reported from Nuwakot district.
Out of the total cases, 524 are men and 79 are women. The country has reported three Covid-19 deaths so far.
According to the Health Ministry, the virus has now spread to 42 districts. The government has anticipated an exponential rise in Covid-19 cases throughout the country—1,000 within a week and around 2,000 in 10 days.
Banke has so far reported 142 cases, the highest in the country. The number of cases in Parsa is 91. Eighty cases have been reported in Kapilvastu, 43 in Rupandehi, 36 in Jhapa, along with 33 in Udayapur.
According to Devkota, 48,815 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests and 90,026 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) had been carried out across the country till Sunday.
Track all Covid-19 cases in Nepal here.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of August 7, 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. Covid-19 had spread to 213 countries and infected more than 19,253,765 people with 717,644 deaths and 12,355,145 recoveries. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections 2,025,409 at with 41,638 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 281,863 confirmed cases with 6,035 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 22,214 cases with 70 deaths.
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.