OPD and surgery services to remain closed till April 12


KATHMANDU, March 20: The government has directed all hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley to close OPD and surgery services till April 12.

A ministerial-level meeting held under Minister for Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal today directed hospitals having 50 beds or more than this to instantly close all non-emergency and surgery services till the date as it seeks to take a high alert in the aftermath of increased risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, according to Ministry Spokesperson Dr Bikash Devkota.

Besides, the meeting has decided to keep the National Public Health Laboratory in stand-by position for at least 20,000 sample test kits there with necessary arrangements to make sample test for the coronavirus as per the requirements.

As per the meeting decision, the Department of Health Services shall prepare a list of essential materials required for detecting, testing, treating, preventing and containing the disease with the estimation of a required quantity and urge the Chinese Embassy here for the assistance towards that end.

All hospitals have been directed to designate one person each related to pathology service as a focal person for the purpose of collecting sample swab of a suspected person and transporting the sample for lab process and sending the details of such person to the National Public Health Laboratory.

Besides, the Bir Hospital, Dhulikhel Hospital and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences considered to have been providing reliable laboratory tests are to be instructed to start the COVID-19 test instantly, according to Ministry Spokesperson Devkota.  Hospitals have been directed to give first priority to those old-age suspected and those with underlying health conditions for the test.

The Ministry would monitor government’s direction to hospitals with more than 100 beds to operate fever clinics. The ministry has directed hospitals to admit and keep suspicious persons in isolation and collect their swabs for test, and if the patient is tested positive for the infection, arrangements should be made for the patient to transfer to recommended hospital in a safe way.

The Bir Hospital is required to immediately send a dialysis machine and required human resources to Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital required for the infected people.

Home Ministry has been requested to manage security at hospitals to deal with untoward incidents in case parents or relatives of suspicious people kept in hospital isolations put pressure on the hospitals to discharge them.

The Ministry has directed concerned authorities to manage accommodation for hospital staffs and health workers attending to infected people at respective hospitals, said Dr. Devkota. This direction took place in view of chances they (if infected) may transmit the virus to their families and other people. RSS