The government is preparing to admit only COVID-19 patients showing severe symptoms in hospitals.

Infected persons with common symptoms will be kept in isolation outside hospitals and monitored. The decision aims at availing isolation beds in hospitals for critical patients as the number of infected people is rapidly increasing by the day.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Bikash Devkota, said, “We are preparing to admit only patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 in hospitals – asymptomatic ones and those with common symptoms will be kept in isolation separately outside of hospitals.”

“A team has been deployed at the state and local levels to identify infected people with severe symptoms and bring them to Corona Hub Hospitals,” chief expert of Health Ministry, Dr Roshan Pokharel explained.

According to health ministry officials, initiatives are being taken to increase the number of PCR tests, to keep those returning from India and other countries in quarantine for 14 days, and identify infected persons with severe symptoms to bring them to hospitals.

The government is preparing to change the modality of the ongoing nation-wide lockdown after observing the condition of infected persons in different parts of the country.

Dr Pokharel said that different areas will be classified as red, yellow and green zones based on the severity of the outbreak. The lockdown will be made stricter at red zone areas, urgent services will be opened in yellow zones, and regular services will be opened in green zones by allowing private vehicles to run based on odd and even number plates.

The government’s decision comes at a time when it facing significant pressure to ease the lockdown after adapting appropriate health measures in order to keep the economy running.

The lockdown issued by the government from March 24 has been extended till June 14. The number of infected persons, however, is sharply increasing daily.

A day before the latest decision by the Council of Ministers to extend the lockdown, the Ministry of Health had suggested to loosen the lockdown by adapting alternative measures.

The Ministry of Health has been criticized for not taking further steps as the number of infected people and death toll is rising at an alarming rate. Ministry officials, on the other hand, claim that they have started adopting new strategies for prevention and treatment.