Province 5 to expand the capacity of healthcare facilities given the growing number of coronavirus casesThree districts in the province—Banke, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu—will collectively set up 3,000 bed-strong quarantine facilities for those who have and may return from India.
The Province 5 government has decided to use its police and army hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19. A meeting of the Crisis Management Centre, headed by Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel, took the decision to that effect on Wednesday, citing the need to expand the capacity of healthcare facilities since a total of 23 individuals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Banke.
All the infected patients are currently undergoing treatment at the Khajura-based Sushil Koirala Prakhar Cancer Hospital, which has been remodelled as ‘corona-specific hospital’. The hospital has a capacity of 40 beds, but since the health workers involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients also live in the hospital, there are only two beds left for patients, according to the District Public Health Office.
Physicians have warned that the number of infected patients could go up in the coming days, as those who have tested positive were found to have had social interaction before they were tested.
Medical Superintendent of Bheri Provincial Hospital Prakash Thapa, who has been involved in the treatment of patients at the corona-specific hospital, said there’s no shortfall of health workers as of now, as the hospital has been coordinating with other medical institutions.
“But if the number of patients goes up, we might face problems in treating the patients,” he said.
Moreover, the hospital administration has also expressed concerns over the availability of protective gears. The hospital currently has 160 units of PPE, 270 units of PCR kits, and 500 N95 masks, according to Thapa. Besides the corona-specific hospital, the district administration office also plans to use a private hospital for treating Covid-19 patients if more cases are reported.
The meeting of the Crisis Management Committee on Wednesday discussed the availability of resources to deal with the crisis, said Sudarshan Baral, provincial minister of Social Development.
“Contact tracing is currently going on,” he said. “We will analyse the situation once we complete tracing the contact of all infected patients. We will then have an idea of whether the resources we have will suffice.”
Three districts in the province—Banke, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu—will collectively set up 3,000 bed-strong quarantine facilities for those who have and may return from India, according to Sher Bahadur KC, press advisor to the chief minister.
As of now, the province has sufficient protective gears with 2,000 PPEs and 776 gowns, according to Dinesh Chapagain, director of the Supply Department of the Social Development Ministry.
A total of 5,000 individuals have been tested for the virus in the province so far, according to Binod Giri, director of the Provincial Public Health Office.
“We have sufficient resources for now,” Giri said. “Four hospitals were recently set up to treat Covid-19 patients and contact tracing is being intensified.”