Of the 14 Covid-19 fatalities in Nepal, 11 people died at quarantine centers. Of them, nine tested positive for coronavirus infection through a PCR test while two tested negative, and the results of three are awaited.
Similarly, six among the total national Covid-19 fatalities died after being transferred to hospitals from respective quarantine centers upon showcasing severe symptoms.
A few days ago, the government issued a directive and instructed authorities concerned to send people home without an RDT or a PCR test after they have stayed in quarantine centers for 14 days.
Such a decision has only abetted the rapid spread of the virus as most Covid-19 infected persons in Nepal have been asymptomatic along with an increase in the number of deaths due to Covid-19.
Even the earlier decision of the government to use RDT for mass testing was in contradiction of the WHO recommendation and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines which require RDT to be conducted only for individuals placed in isolation in hospitals.
And even if the result turns out to be negative, a retest with PCR is mandatory.
Today, a man who used to work as a clear at the Bayalpata Hospital in Achham District put himself on fire after sprinkling petrol all over his body in front of the hospital.
The man along with 32 other staffers were fired by the hospital two months ago, citing “economic crisis”. He has been taken to Nepalgunj for treatment.
Quarantine centers are jampacked and poorly-managed, lack of information coupled with ill-managed quarantine centers are forcing citizens to flee quarantines and attack security as well as healthcare professionals, citizens are dying of hunger, poverty and for want of medical care, testing labs are inundated with overwhelming number of pending samples, situation even worse in rural settings.
To top it all, economy is crashing in the absence of a concrete plan.
Nepal became a federal democratic republican state in September 20, 2015 (Aswin 3, 2072 BS). The country demarcated seven provinces with the adoption of a federal system so as to decentralize power and development works.
However, decision-making still relies on Kathmandu — the central capital, with the leadership in the valley hogging all power and liable to lethargic response as well as responsibility.