The Ministry of Health and Population has instructed all hospitals within the Kathmandu valley to admit COVID-19 patients only if they come with the ministry’s referral.

The Health Ministry has also listed four mobile phone numbers asked the hospitals to verify that referral calls for admitting COVID-19 patients are coming from ministry officials Samir Kumar Adhikari, Madhav Prasad Lamsal, Navaraj Joshi, Kumbharaj Joshi and Hello Call Centre.

According to assistant spokesperson of the Ministry, Samir Kumar Adhikari, the new arrangement was meant for effective management of COVID-19 patients’ medical care.

He also informed that the Teku-based Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), which has details of all COIVD-19 patients, will first call the patients to take note of their symptoms and determine who needs hospital care and who can stay in government designated isolation centres or home isolation.

EDCD will inform the Health Ministry about the patients, which will then decide which patients need to be admitted to hospitals.

The Ministry has also made it mandatory for all Valley hospitals to inform before referring COVID-19 patients to any other hospital.

According to Adhikari, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients will be advised to stay in home isolation.

If for any reason a patient is not in a position to stay in home isolation, the ministry will send the patient to a government designated isolation centre in the Kathmandu Valley.

There are 1,200 beds in different government-run isolation centres in Kathmandu valley at present.