Covid-19 tally reaches 281 with one death, the first in the countryA woman from Sindhuplachok succumbed to the disease and two additional cases are from Dahnusha, Health Ministry says.
The Health Ministry said late Saturday that a 29-year-old woman from Barhabise in Sindhupalchok who died on the way to Dhulikhel Hospital was the first Covid-19 fatality in the country.
The two other cases are from Dhanusha–both men aged 20 and 65.
The woman who died of Covid-19 on Saturday, according to the ministry, had given birth through normal delivery on May 6 at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. She was discharged on May 7, as the health condition of both the baby and the mother was normal. The woman had subsequently returned to her village in Sindhupalchok.
The woman reported a fever and respiratory difficulties shortly after returning home and was treated at the local health centre, said the ministry. “After her condition worsened, she was referred to the Dhulikhel Hospital on May 14. She died on the way to the hospital,” the ministry added.
According to a doctor at Dhulikhel Hospital, she was pronounced dead upon arrival. But since she had presented a fever and respiratory problems, which are symptoms of Covid-19, the hospital conducted a polymerase chain reaction test on her nasal and throat swabs, which came back positive.
Earlier on Saturday, at the regular daily press briefing, the ministry refrained from linking the woman’s death to Covid-19.
But late Saturday, the ministry said that the test conducted on the woman’s swabs at the National Public Health Laboratory came out positive.
With the authorities expediting testing, more cases are being reported from across the country.
Parsa district has so far reported the highest number of cases, with 91 active cases of the coronavirus. The number of cases in Kapilvastu has now reached 42. Thirty-three cases each have been reported in Banke and Udayapur, along with 28 cases in Rupandehi.
Nine Covid-19 cases have been detected in Kathmandu.
Dhanusa has reported six cases. Kailali has reported four cases, with three cases each from Chitwan, Dang, Rautahat, Bara and Mahottari. Baglung, Jhapa, Sarlahi, Bardiya, and Bhaktapur have reported two cases each.
Bhojpur, Saptari, Kanchanpur, Nawalparasi (West), Nawalparasi (East), Dhading, Mahottari, Kavre, Makwanpur and Sindhupalchok have reported one Covid-19 case each.
Of the total cases reported so far, 226 are males and 55 are females. According to the ministry, 36 patients have been discharged after recovery. However, three patients have been readmitted in the isolation facilities after they tested positive in retests.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of May 25, 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 210 countries and infected more than 5,498,580 people with 346,688 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 138,536 with 4,024 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 54,601 confirmed cases with 1,133 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 603 cases with three 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.