As the cases of COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate on a daily basis, the government has decided to convert all government hospitals in Kathmandu into COVID-19 hospitals.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, Jageshwor Gautam, informed mediapersons on Monday that the Ministry had asked all government hospitals in the capital to treat coronavirus patients as priority and postpone elective surgeries.

Owing to the lack of beds, intensive care units and ventilators in hospitals, the Ministry directed hospitals to conduct only emergency surgeries and defer the rest.

Gautam further informed that state-run hospitals had been also directed to run isolation centres for COVID positive patients in hotels after coordination with the hotels concerned and permission from the Health Ministry.

The government has also decided to upgrade Manmohan Memorial Medical College and Teaching Hospital and National Ayurved Research and Training Centre, which were being used as isolation centres, to hospitals that can treat coronavirus patients. “Both will be treating symptomatic patients of coronavirus,” added Gautam.

On Monday, the country recorded 4,047 new cases of coronavirus infection, including 2,283 from Kathmandu valley.

With this, Nepal’s COVID caseload has reached 111,802, including 77,277 recoveries, 33,880 active cases and 645 fatalities.

Of those testing positive for the contagion in the valley 1,888 are from Kathmandu, 118 from Bhaktapur and 277 from Lalitpur.

Morang, Sunsari, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Chitwan, Makawanpur, Banke, Rupandehi and Surkhet have over 500 active COVID cases each, while Manang has no active case of coronavirus infection.

According to the ministry, 19,957 of the active COVID cases are in home isolation, while 13,923 are in institutional isolation.

So far, 69.2 per cent patients have recovered from COVID in Nepal, 279 patients are admitted in intensive care and 67 patients are on ventilator support, according to the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, despite a drastic surge in daily COVID caseload in the past few days, the government has decided to allow all public transport vehicles to carry passengers to their full capacity.

A cabinet meeting held on Monday made the decision to this effect, rolling back its earlier decision to allow public transport vehicles to carry 50 percent passengers of their total seat capacity.

It has been reported that the earlier decision was revoked on condition to follow all health safety protocols to avoid further transmission of COVID-19. With the new decision in place, public transport entrepreneurs are now allowed to charge normal fare from the passengers.

The government has also urged the public to avoid long-distance travels as much as possible and celebrate Dashain festival in the places they are currently living.