Eight more coronavirus cases detected, taking country’s infection tally to 110Covid-19 cases rise to 32 in Bhulke, Udayapur, one of the hotspots of the outbreak.
At least four more coronavirus infection cases were detected in Udayapur, three in Kapilvastu and one in Parsa on Saturday, raising the country’s confirmed infection tally so far to 110.
In Udayapur, all four cases were detected in Bhulke of Triyuga Municipality, one of the hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
While the Ministry of Health and Population had confirmed only three cases in Udayapur as of late afternoon, one more case was reported later in the evening. With the latest confirmation, the number of coronavirus infection cases in the district has reached 32.
The confirmations were made based on polymerase chain reaction tests of swab samples from the villagers of Bhulke by Koshi Hospital in Biratnagar.
All four patients are said to be female of ages 18, 43, 45 and 65 years.
The 65-year-old and the 18-year-old are grandmother and granddaughter. Earlier, coronavirus infection was confirmed in five other family members of the two women. While two members of the family have recovered and were discharged on Friday, the other infected members are being treated in the isolation facility of Koshi Hospital.
The coronavirus outbreak in Udayapur is believed to have been started from Nuri Mosque in Bhulke, when 12 Indian nationals who had been staying at the mosque tested positive for the virus. The infection count soon began to soar in the area, which led the local administration to seal the mosque and its adjoining areas.
Fourteen patients, whose infection authorities traced to Bhulke, have recovered.
“We were happy to learn that 14 people had recovered as of Friday. We thought our life was going back to normal, but the new cases have once again raised alarm among the villagers,” said Yadu Dhakal, a local man.
Authorities have intensified tests in Bhulke and other parts of Udayapur ever since the coronavirus infection broke out in the district.
Health workers collected 143 throat swabs in the Bhulke area on Saturday.
Mohan Subedi, chief at the District Health Office, said they had collected swab samples from 334 people three days ago and sent them to the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan and Koshi Hospital for tests.
Among them, 231 samples tested negative and three tested positive while results of 100 others are yet to come. “Retests were also conducted on those people who had earlier tested negative."
"Among them, three tested positive on Saturday,” said Subedi. Meanwhile, Kapilvastu reported three cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday.
According to the Health Ministry, all three patients are male of ages 17-18 years.
The ministry also confirmed a coronavirus infection on a 62-year-old man from Chhapkaiya, Parsa.
(Dilliram Khatiwada reported from Udayapur.)
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of September 22, 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 has spread to 213 countries and territories around the world and infected more than 31,405,983 people with 967,505 deaths and 22,990,260 recoveries. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 5,557,573 with 88,943 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 306,304 confirmed cases with 6,420 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 65,276 cases with 427 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.