Health officials at Biratnagar customs point say they lack proper security gears to tackle contingent Covid-19 infectionsThey say nearly 300 people entering Nepal are screened for Covid-19 symptoms every day.
The Biratnagar Metropolitan City has established a health check-up stall at the Rani Custom Point in the city in view of the global spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Health officials deployed there are tasked with making sure that no Covid-19 infected people from India or any third country enter Nepal. The officials say they screen nearly 300 people a day for Covid-19 symptoms, but for lack of safety gear, they lament that they are themselves at risk of contracting the disease. The metropolitan city office has provided them with an infrared thermometer, masks, gloves and some medicines.
“Because the city office hasn’t provided enough protective gears, we are exposed to risk while doing our work,” Dilmaya Pariyar, an auxiliary health worker deployed at the customs point, told the Post.
Moreover, the health desk also lacks manpower and has to seek assistance from the police, Pariyar said. Currently, the desk has only two full-time employees, including Pariyar and Sita Khatiwada, who is an office assistant.
“The work gets gruelling when the footfall is high,” Pariyar said.
In the wake of Covid-19, Nepali markets have faced a scarcity of masks, as worried people scramble to panic-buy masks. World Health Organisation, however, doesn’t recommend masks as a preventive measure against the disease.
Chief Administrative Officer of the metropolitan city Ekdev Adhikari said that he has directed the city officials to make a provision of safety gear and accommodation to the health workers deployed at the customs point. But the officials have yet to send the gear despite repeated requests, Pariyar said.
“Even though we haven’t encountered any Covid-19 patient yet, we are worried,” she said.
The Province 1 administration has also established check-up beats in Bhadrapur, Kakkadbhitta, and Pashupatinagar, the major custom points in the east.