COVID-19: Parsa, Banke face potential shortfalls in hospital beds

Bhupal Luitel

May 14, 2020

4 MIN READ

COVID-19: Parsa, Banke face potential shortfalls in hospital beds
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KATHMANDU: Two districts, Parsa and Banke, lack sufficient care unit beds in their hospitals to deal with the wave of coronavirus cases in recent times.

The Narayani Hospital in Birgunj is currently overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, and the 70 beds designated for the, has been occupied.

This means that the hospital’s limit has been crossed because of which it is not able to accommodate and treat other coronavirus patients.

Lack of enough beds in the hospitals raises the chances of a cascade as they cannot handle the number of coronavirus cases they are projected to get in the days to come.

As of Wednesday, a total of 85 persons have been tested positive for coronavirus in Parsa district.

“We are compelled to treat coronavirus infected patients in quarantines due to the shortage of beds in the hospitals,” Assistant Chief District Officer of Parsa, Lalit Kumar Basnet told Khabarhub.

As many as 70 beds meant for coronavirus patients at the Narayani Hospital in Parsa are almost full. “Hence, the treatment has been done at the Siddhartha High School-based quarantine,” Basnet said adding that a total of 91 patients are under treatment in Birgunj as some patients were brought to the hospital from other districts.

Authorities are now looking for an alternative to accommodate and treat the patients as they fear that the number of such patients will be higher. “Discussions to this effect are underway,” he informed.

According to him, one of the options could be the addition of the number of beds in the Narayani Hospital. “Establishing a treatment center at the local Gandak Hospital is another option,” he added.

Discussions to set up a treatment center in Janakpur from where coronavirus infected people, too, have been brought to Birgunj.

Birgunj Mayor Bijay Sarabagi, meanwhile, said that 21 corona-infected patients are being treated at the quarantine.

Chief District Office of Dhanusha, Kosh Hari Niraula stated that a ‘COVID-19 Hospital’ with a capacity of accommodating 40 patients has come into operation from Wednesday in Janakpur.

“Four coronavirus patients from Dhanusha and one from Sarlahi are currently being treated at the hospital here,” Niraula said adding reports of more than 200 people are yet to come.

The condition of the hospital in Banke district is no different. Even though the Khajura-based Sushil Koirala Cancer Hospital has been designated a ‘dedicated hospital’ to treat coronavirus patients, the 25-beds in the hospital are fully occupied.

The hospital, too, is not in a position to take in more patients.

“It’s high time that we looked for alternative as it is likely that the number of patients will go up,” Assistant Chief District Officer Dirgha Raj Upadhyaya said.

Currently, they have increased the capacity of the Sushil Koirala Cancer Hospital by adding five more beds. “This is temporary, we need to look for options without delay,” he said.

Upadhyaya, meanwhile, informed that preparations are afoot to ‘use’ the local Lions’ Dental Hospital, which can accommodate at least 30 patients.

He is worried that the number of coronavirus infected patients could increase as the southern neighbor, India, has resumed railway transport earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to impose strict measures to control the influx of people from the neighboring states of India.

Consider what Mahendra Shrestha, Director General at the Health Service Department has to say: “The situation can be worrying if thousands of Nepali workers enter the country.”

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