Covid-19 cases are increasing after relaxation of prohibitory orders in LumbiniThe virus has started to spread rapidly since people have stopped following health safety protocols and maintaining physical distance, health officials say.
The rate of Covid-19 infection has escalated again after the relaxation of prohibitory orders in Rupandehi and Banke districts.
According to health workers, the virus has started to spread rapidly in the settlements since people have stopped following health safety protocols and maintaining physical distance in public areas.
The district authorities in Rupandehi allowed the operation of businesses, transportation and other essential services July 3 onwards. This has led to an increase in public movement and a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the district, health workers say.
On Thursday, 47 individuals tested positive for coronavirus in Rupandehi alone.
“Currently, there are 381 active cases of Covid-19 in the district. Until July 3, the district had only 31 active cases,” said Dr Rajendra Giri, chief at the District Health Office in Rupandehi.
Fifteen individuals died of Covid-19 in Rupandehi in the past week, according to the data of the District Health Office.
“Covid-19 infection has been spreading day by day. The rate of infection has increased after the relaxation of prohibitory orders. The disease can only be controlled if people maintain social distancing and adopt safety protocols,” said Giri.
Arjun Upadhayay, a resident of Tilottama Ward No. 6, said crowding in market areas has increased the risk of Covid-19 outbreak in the district.
“The public must take precautions and follow health safety protocols to prevent Covid-19 from spreading,” Upadhayay said.
According to Dr Nandu Pathak, the Covid-19 focal person in Butwal-based Corona Special Hospital, all beds in the designated Covid-19 treatment centre of Rupandehi are fully occupied by coronavirus patients.
“By Friday, all 14 beds in the emergency ward, 38 in the medical ward and 14 in the ICU had been occupied. The rate of infection has increased due to the carelessness of the general public,” said Pathak.
Currently, 14 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment at Bhairahawa-based Bhim Hospital. Dr Siddhartha Pandey, information officer at the hospital, said, “The number of coronavirus patients will increase again given the increase in public movement following the relaxation of prohibitory orders.”
Chief District Officer of Rupandehi Asman Tamang said prohibitory orders were relaxed so the public could ease back to normalcy after months of being under lockdown.
“But people are seen flouting health safety rules put in place for their own good,” he said. “Complacency and negligence will lead us to the eye of the coronavirus storm.”
The situation in Banke district is similar to Rupandehi.
Market places, transportation services, government offices and business activities have been allowed to operate for the past week in Banke. Like Rupandehi, Banke is also seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases since the relaxation of prohibitory orders.
“In the last four days, the rate of Covid-19 infection has increased from 12 to 32 percent. We are far from safe from the virus,” said Dr Rajan Pandey of Bheri Hospital.
According to him, Nepalgunj is again at risk of becoming a hotspot for coronavirus if immediate measures to contain the virus are not taken.
“Until last week, the rate of Covid-19 infection was low in the district but cases are increasing again,” Pandey said.
Between June 26 and July 1, the number of active cases in Banke stood at 33. The number has shot up to 52 by July 9, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.
“We are looking at a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the district. We need to curtail public movement immediately to keep the virus under control,” said Dr Sanket Risal, the Covid-19 focal person at Bheri Hospital.
Chief District Officer of Banke Shivaram Gelal said the district is seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases, as people are openly flouting health safety protocols.
“Public places are getting crowded by the day with people not maintaining distance or wearing masks,” he said. “We can only hope they understand the risk of the virus.”
According to the data of the District Health Office in Banke, 31 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment in the ICU of various hospitals and 367 patients are in home isolation in the district.