With upsurge in cases, govt sets eyes on community level tests

45,000 samples to be tested throughout the country

Rita Lamsal

July 11, 2020


With upsurge in cases, govt sets eyes on community level tests

Swab collection/ File Photo


KATHMANDU: With more coronavirus cases being diagnosed among the people without travel history, the government is now mulling to conduct COVID-19 tests on the community level.

An 18-month-old child of Kathmandu became sick, recently. The parents took the child to a private hospital.

The child had earlier undergone brain tumor surgery. The physicians recommended the next surgery for the child.

Since the PCR test is mandatory for any patients before undergoing surgery, the child’s swab was also collected and sent for PCR test.

Surprisingly, the child, who had never been out of home and was not exposed to any person or community which could transmit the pandemic to the child, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Now the tracing team of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Control Division is at loss on how the child got corona transmission.

The Kathmandu Valley has been witnessing many COVID-19 cases among the people who do not have travel history.

As many as 312 coronavirus cases were reported in the Kathmandu Vallley until Friday morning.

Dr. Basu Dev Pandey, the director of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Division, shared that there are many coronavirus cases in the capital where the people who had been to hospital for the treatment of other ailments are found to be infected with coronavirus. Such people showed no symptoms before, hence, did not come to the attention for the test.

According to Dr. Pandey, the Division is trying to trace the source of transmission in the people without travel history.

“There are some cases which do not have clear indication of the sources,” he told Khabarhub, adding “We have to pay  special attention to it. Hence, we have initiated the tests to see if the transmission has gone to community level.”

According to Dr. Pandey, the Division has started collecting 100 samples each from 12 different places where the COVID-19 cases with no travel history were found.

“We have collected the samples from 12 places which had cases without travel history,” he said, adding, “We got 674 coronavirus negative reports.” We are collecting samples from other places as well.  We can conclude if the infection has spread to the community level once we receive the reports from all places.”

Dr. Pandey further added that the Ministry of Health and Population has started the collection of samples of 45,000 people worldwide. As part of the campaign the sample collection and test in 5,000 people of the valley has started on Thursday.

According to Dr. Pandey, 1200 samples are being collected from different parts of the valley with cases from the people without travel history. As many as 1000 samples have been collected from Kalanki, Chabahil, Koteshwor, and Jagate to mention but a few.

Mahendra Dhwaj Adhikari, the surveillance officer of the Division, informed that the Division has got the responsibility of collecting samples in the valley.

Outside the valley, COVID-19 Crisis Control and Management Center(CCMC) will collect the samples outside the capital valley. For that the Division has deployed four teams outside the valley.

Adhikari informed that 200 to 250 samples are to be collected on a daily basis from 25 places in the Kathmandu Valley.

According to him, samples are being collected from the highly vulnerable places like Land Revenue Office, Transportation Offices, Banks and Hospitals.

He added that in hospital the samples have been collected from the patients in emergency ward, ICU, cancer hospital and the areas providing dialysis service.

According to Adhikari, 50-60 samples will be collected daily from an office. The staff and the beneficiaries in the frontline will get the priority.

In hospitals, the samples will be collected from the staff working at the ICU and emergency wards. The medics providing dialysis service, service to the cancer patients and the patients in such places will also get priority in sample tests.

Adhikari added that at least 5,000 samples will be collected from the valley in a week. This will surely help in finding out whether there is the community level transmission in the valley.

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