Madi quarantine facilities become breeding ground for coronavirus27 out of 63 positive cases in Chitwan are from Madi Municipality alone.
On June 14, eight out of 47 individuals at a quarantine facility in Diwakar Memorial School of Madi Municipality Ward No. 5 tested positive for coronavirus via the Polymerase Chain Reaction test. But when a second test was conducted recently, 13 others who had tested negative earlier were found to be infected with the virus. In total, 21 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in the quarantine facility until Thursday.
Until Saturday, Chitwn had reported 63 cases of coronavirus. Among them, 27 are from Madi Municipality alone. A quarantine facility set up at Someshwor Secondary School in Madi had reported six cases on June 8.
On Thursday, the Covid-19 testing laboratory in Bharatpur found 34 individuals infected with coronavirus. A notice released by Bharatpur Hospital, which also manages the Covid-19 lab, showed that 12 positive cases were from Chitwan alone. Out of the 12 infected, nine were from Madi Municipality, the notice, which was released on Thursday, reads.
Shiva Prasad Subedi, the health coordinator at Madi Municipality, confirmed that all nine individuals who tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday had stayed at Diwakar Memorial quarantine. “In the first testing, eight individuals tested positive for coronavirus while 39 others tested negative.”
But one of the 39 individuals who had tested negative started showing symptoms of the virus while the municipality was preparing to send them home.
“The person had fever and underwent a rapid diagnostic test, the result of which came out positive for the virus,” said Subedi. Authorities then collected the swab samples of 12 others who had come in contact with the infected person.
On July 22, four out of the 12 samples tested positive for coronavirus. After reports of the positive cases came out, swab samples of the remaining 27 individuals were again collected and sent to the lab for PCR testing. Nine out of the 27 swab samples tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
Health officials believe that the facility in Diwakar Memorial has turned into a breeding ground for the virus. The municipality had placed 49 individuals in 10 rooms of the facility in the past month.
Dipak Tiwari, chief at the Chitwan Health Office, however, claimed that the facility had a high number of positive cases because the quarantined individuals failed to take precautions while staying at the facility. A team of health workers, including Tiwari, inspected the facility on Friday.
“During inspection, we found that the quarantine facilities in Madi were much better managed than the ones in other local units. This is why we believe that the virus might have spread due to the carelessness of the quarantined,” said Tiwari.
There are 85 individuals staying in three different quarantine facilities in Madi.
Rambandhu Pokharel, the chairman of Ward No. 5, said, “Those who got infected in the centre were given separate beds, and toilets were also managed accordingly. But we heard that they used to share their mobile phones and did not practice social distancing while in quarantine.”
One of the infected who is currently in isolation also admitted that they did not care about social distancing while staying in the facility.
“How can we blame only the government for doing nothing? It was also our mistake for we failed to adopt preventive measures in the quarantine centre,” he said.
Prabin Bhandari, information officer of Madi Municipality, said the remaining 18 individuals at Diwakar Memorial quarantine, who tested negative for the virus on Thursday, have been sent to another quarantine facility at Madi Ward No. 2.
“They have been isolated from one another and advised to maintain social distancing,” said Bhandari.
All Covid-19-infected individuals of Madi are currently kept in the local unit’s isolation wards.
“The construction of a 30-bed isolation facility in the municipality is underway,” said Subedi. “The infected will be taken to Bharatpur Hospital in case of emergencies.”