Over two-thirds of the total Covid-19 patients in Chitwan in home isolationHealth workers worry about the lack of proper system to monitor the health of patients in home-isolation.
The District Administration Office in Chitwan issued a public notice on Monday requesting asymptomatic coronavirus infected people to visit Covid-19 designated hospitals. However, the three Covid-19 hospitals in the district are not capable of handling the growing number of patients, say health officials.
According to the District Health Office, over two-thirds of the Covid-19 patients in Chitwan are in home isolation for a lack of beds and other essential infrastructure at Chitwan Medical College, College of Medical Sciences and Bharatpur Hospital, the three Covid-19 designated hospitals in the district.
Health workers worry about the lack of a proper system to monitor the patients in home-isolation.
“We have not been able to take stock of the situation of Covid-19 patients in home isolation; we haven’t been able to monitor their health or even provide timely treatment,” said Dr Bhojraj Adhikari, chairman at the Government Hospital Development Committee in Bharatpur. “Patients are taken to a hospital only after their health has deteriorated, which makes their treatment difficult.”
On October 5, a 70-year-old patient of Covid-19 from Bharatpur Ward No. 3 died while undergoing treatment at Bharatpur Hospital. According to Liladhar Paudel, the information officer at the hospital, the man was admitted to the hospital only when his health condition had worsened after four days in self-isolation.
So far, 2,764 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in Chitwan, according to the data of the District Health Office. Out of the 1,097 active cases in the district, only 343 are staying in isolation facilities. The remaining 754 are in home isolation, the data revealed.
“The data showed that more than two-thirds of the infected are staying at their homes,” said Dipak Tiwari, chief at the District Health Office. According to him, most of the asymptomatic patients are aged people with pre-existing health conditions.
“We don’t know about the health condition of more than 754 Covid-19 patients staying in home isolation. There’s no mechanism to get their daily updates and take them to the hospital, if needed,” said Adhikari. “There’s not even a working guideline to conduct their Covid-19 tests on time.”
Tiwari, the chief at the District Health Office, says the severe lack of infrastructure and working guideline in the district’s Covid-19 hospitals is leading to worsening health conditions of coronavirus patients.
“The government should add infrastructure to the health facilities. Covid-19 patients have been compelled to stay home, away from medical care, since the hospitals are not equipped to handle them,” he said. “The government hospitals haven’t been able to add ICU beds and ventilators but they could manage a High-dependency Unit. These units are usually located close to the intensive care unit and are equipped with supplementary oxygen bottles. Patients can be cared for more extensively at the unit than in the general ward.”
Asymptomatic patients of Covid-19 can stay at home but there should be a mechanism to regularly monitor their health condition, says Adhikari.
“The hospitals in Chitwan should have at least 300-bed isolation wards with 175 ICU beds and 75 ventilators to fight against Covid-19,” he said. “The big hospitals could focus on coronavirus treatment and other small hospitals could be developed for the treatment of other ailments.”