Fourth Nepali tests positive for Covid-19This case, in a 34-year-old man who returned from the UAE, brings the total number of live coronavirus cases to three.
A fourth person has tested positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed to the Post.
According to Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the Health Ministry, a 34-year-old man who returned from the United Arab Emirates has tested positive for Covid-19.
This takes the number of live cases to three since Sunday when the first live case was reported in a 19-year-old student who travelled from France to Kathmandu via Qatar.
The National Public Health Laboratory, under the Department of Health Services, tested the specimens of the patient and confirmed a positive result on Friday.
“The patient is currently receiving treatment at the Seti Provincial Hospital in Dhangadhi of Sudurpaschim Province,” Devkota told the Post. “We are working to find the details of the patients, including the number of the flight he came to Nepal on.”
The patient had gone to the hospital on March 24 after he suffered from high fever, chest pain and dry cough.
But the hospital could not send his specimens—nasal and throat swabs—to the National Public Health Laboratory, the only lab which conducts tests for the coronavirus, immediately as the government enforced a lockdown starting the same morning (March 24), suspending all air and bus services.
This is the first Covid-19 positive case reported from outside the Valley, said Devkota. “This shows patients of Covid-19 are outside the Valley as well. We would like to request all to stay at home for their and others’ safety.”
The lockdown, however, also means hospitals outside the Valley will face difficulties while sending specimens of those who are suspected to have been carrying the virus.
Devkota also urged security agencies, human rights organizations, civil society members and the general public to abide by the lockdown order.
Nepal has so far reported four cases of Covid-19, with the first case identified at the end of January.
The third patient who tested positive had travelled to Kathmandu from Sharjah on March 19.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of June 2, 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 6,321,836 people with 375,657 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 198,140 with 5,608 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 72,460 confirmed cases with 1,543 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 1,811 cases with eight 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.