Kathmandu, April 5
Alerted with the first case of local transmission of coronavirus infection in the country, the government is preparing to conduct rapid diagnostic tests of all the people who recently returned home from India.
The high-level committee formed to control the coronavirus outbreak in the country is likely to take a decision in this regard today. The government will focus on the Sudurpaschim province (the far-western part of Nepal) in this process as thousands had returned home from India recently and the first case of local transmission also belongs to the province.
The government does not have any idea about the exact number of returnees, but they are expected to be more than 50,000. Most of them are out of quarantine sites set up by local governments.
The rapid diagnostic tests are not recognised by the World Health Organisation, but they help the authorities assess the severity of infection in any area, according to experts. They suggest that if the rapid test results are positive, the cases can be tested at laboratories.
The rapid tests are more important for Nepal as it has a limited number of labs and they cannot test more than a dozen cases per day, Dr Khem Karki, an expert at the Ministry of Health and Population says.
Published on April 5th, Sunday, 2020 1:12 PM