Foreigners barred entry from Jhapa bordersCovid-19 hospital in Dharan struggling to cope with growing number of patients.
Authorities have restricted entry for all foreign nationals through the Nepal-India border crossing points in Jhapa as a measure against Covid-19.
Chief District Officer of Jhapa Shrawan Kumar Timsina said the border restriction came into force from Tuesday as per the decision of Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre.
“Even those foreign travellers with Covid-19 negative test reports won’t be allowed entry. Nepalis too will be barred from entering India,” said Timsina.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sunil Dahal, who is based at the border town of Kakadbhitta, said movement of foreigners with Covid-19 negative test results was restricted following cases of test report forgery.
“A few days earlier, some Indian nationals had entered Nepal carrying fake PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test reports allegedly prepared by some private clinics in India,” Dahal added.
Flow of people entering Nepal from India increased on Tuesday following the news about border restriction. Area Police Office, Kakadbhitta, recorded the entry of 725 Indian and 530 Nepali nationals on Tuesday.
Rupsana Khatun, a health worker deployed at Kakadbhitta border health desk, said people returning from the coronavirus-hit New Delhi and Mumbai were allowed entry only after conducting antigen tests.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 Hospital in BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Sunsari, is struggling to cope with the growing number of Covid-19 patients.
“The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU) beds are almost full. The hospital won’t be able to provide treatment if the critical cases keep on rising,” said Dr Dibyaraj Mishra of the hospital.
The Covid-19 hospital was set up last year with 10 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, eight ventilators, 25 high dependency unit (HDU) beds and 65 general beds.
All ICU and 19 HDU beds were occupied on Tuesday. Patients from various parts of Province 1 and Province 2 are referred to the hospital.
The hospital has urged the authorities concerned to add at least 10 more ICU beds and 25 HDU beds.
(Pradeep Menyangbo in Sunsari contributed reporting.)