38 people including doctors, nurses, patients quarantined in TU Teaching HospitalNeuro ward of TU Teaching Hospital sealed off after a patient tested positive for Covid-19.
Thirty-eight people including doctors, nurses and others of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, who came in close contact with a patient infected with Covid-19 have been quarantined.
According to Dr Santa Kumar Das, coordinator of Covid-19 management team of the hospital, contact tracing of all the people who came in close contact of the infected patient have been completed.
“We have sent 38 people including doctors and nurses and family members of the infected patient to quarantine,” Das told the Post. “Five patients, who were in the same ward with the infected patient, have also been sent to isolation.”
Authorities at the hospital had sealed off the neuro ward three days ago after the six-year old ENT patient was suspected to have been infected with the virus. The National Public Health Laboratory had confirmed Covid-19 in the patient on Thursday morning.
According to Dr Prem Krishna Khadka, executive director of the hospital, officials deployed from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division and hospital staffers had done contact tracing of all who had come in contact with the infected patient.
The infected patient was admitted to the neuro ward despite that she was an ENT patient, as the ENT department of the hospital has been converted to Covid-19 treatment center, according to hospital administration.
Earlier on Wednesday, Arogya Foundation and Nidan Hospital in Pulchowk, Lalitpur, were also sealed off after a hospital employee tested positive for Covid-19.
So far, seven Covid-19 cases have been detected in Kathmandu while Bhaktapur has reported two cases.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of May 26, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. Covid-19 had spread to 210 countries and infected more than 5,589,712 people with 347,903 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 144,950 with 4,172 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 57,705 confirmed cases with 1,197 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 685 cases with four deaths.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.