Volunteers, teachers and college students to be trained for contact tracingGovernment has allocated Rs 380 million to each province to expand their isolation facilities.
As the number of Covid-19 cases rises at an alarming rate and infections are reported from communities, the Ministry of Health and Population is working to use female community health volunteers, youth volunteers, college students and teachers for contact tracing.
For the purpose, the ministry has completed central level training and deployed officials to impart training at the provincial level.
"The training started from Saturday in Dhangadhi of the Sudurpaschim Province," Lila Bikram Thapa, a senior public health administrator at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, told the Post. "We will provide training in all seven provinces across the country."
Provincial health officials will conduct training for district officials, who in turn will train health workers serving at the local level. Health workers serving at the grassroots will form at least three teams in every local federal unit involving female community health volunteers, members of local clubs, teachers and others volunteers and train them on the methods of contact tracing.
Earlier, the division imparted training to over 40 officials to be deployed in the provinces as trainers.
Nepal is seeing a steady rise in Covid-19 cases, with the number of infections reaching 15,784 on Sunday. The country has reported 34 deaths so far.
"As uncertainty grows over how long Covid-19 will remain in society and the number of positive cases rising every day, we have decided to make the contact tracing team big," Dr Sameer Kumar Adhikari, deputy spokesperson for the Health Ministry, said.
"We hope that involvement of more people from various quarters will help contain the epidemic."
The ministry has yet to declare community transmission of Covid-19 but officials concede that more people from the communities, who do not have a history of travelling to coronavirus hotspots or came in close contact with the infected people, are contracting the virus.
The decision to train volunteers, teachers and students for contact tracing is also aimed at containing the disease effectively, according to Adhikari.
The government has allocated Rs 380 million to the provinces for increasing the number of isolation beds. Senior officials from the Health Ministry have also been deployed to all seven provinces to take account of the preparations and provide guidance for officials on management of isolation facilities.
"We are working to set up isolation facilities down to every local level," Dr Gunaraj Awasthi, chief of the Sudurpaschim Provincial Health Directorate, told the Post over the phone from Dhangadhi. "We have been working to set up at least 1,000 isolation beds in our province."