Damak Municipality expedites Covid-19 tests after a case was reported in the eastern townThe Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed another case of the coronavirus in Jhapa.
Damak Municipality on Sunday collected samples of 74 people from three of its wards to test for Covid-19, as two people in Jhapa district tested positive for the disease. The throat and nasal swabs of 44 people out of the 74 have been collected for testing through Polymerase Chain Reaction method.
Four medical teams from Damak Hospital led by Dr Khadka Lal Limbu collected the samples from ward no 3, 6 and 9 of the municipality.
The municipality decided to contact trace and expedite testing after the Health Ministry on Friday confirmed that a 62-year-old man from Damak Ward No. 3 had tested positive for Covid-19. The ward has been under lockdown following the positive case.
According to health officials, the patient is currently receiving treatment at the Biratnagar-based Koshi Covid Hospital.
Deputy Mayor and spokesperson of the Municipality Gita Adhikari informed that the team collected samples from 60 individuals from ward no. 6, and four each from wards 6 and 9, while six samples were collected from individuals referred by other hospitals.
“We have conducted rapid diagnostic tests and taken throat swabs of individuals who had come in contact with the patient and his son, who had recently returned from Dubai,” said Limbu, “We will send the swab samples to the Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences early Monday morning.”
Meanwhile, a team of doctors and medical personnel from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, World Health Organisation and the Provincial Ministry of Social Development had arrived at Damak to take stock of the situation.
The Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed another positive case of Covid-19 in a 50-year-old man from Jhapa.
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.