Government prepares to seal Udayapur district following confirmation of 11 new Covid-19 cases in a dayAccording to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, all the patients who tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday were asymptomatic.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed 11 more cases of Covid-19, pushing the total number of positive cases to 42.
According to Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the Health Ministry, 11 people from Udayapur district tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.
“Yes, an additional 11 people have tested positive for Covid-19,” Devkota told the Post. “All are from the same Muslim community.”
Of the 11 new patients nine are males between the age of 18 and 58, while two are women— one of 36-year-old and the age of another woman is not yet known.
The National Public Health Laboratory confirmed the disease in samples of three people and a laboratory at the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan identified Covid-19 in eight people, according to Devkota.
All tests were performed as per the polymerase chain reaction method.
On April 17, 12 people, including some Indian nationals, residing in a mosque in Udayapur had tested positive for Covid-19. Another 65-year-old man tested positive for the virus the next day. With Tuesday's confirmation, the number of people infected with the Covid 19 reached 24 in Udayapur alone.
The Health Ministry said that the number of positive cases could increase, as samples of 20 people who came in contact with those infected are being tested at the National Public Health Laboratory.
A Health Ministry official said that the local administration has sealed the area where the majority of the Covid-19 cases were detected and preparations are underway to seal the entire district, which entails restricting all in and out movement.
Dr Basudev Pandey, director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, said that all the patients who tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday were asymptomatic.
“Tracing contacts has become more challenging as all the patients were asymptomatic,” Pandey told the Post. “We are preparing to send a team of health workers from the centre tomorrow to assist in contact tracing.”
The division has already deployed a team of health workers including an epidemiologist from the World Health Organization’s Nepal country office.
The Health Ministry said that 260 specimens—nasal and throat swabs of people who came in contact with those infected—have been collected for polymerase chain reaction tests. They are being tested at the National Public Health Laboratory, the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences and the Koshi Hospital.
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.