COVID Control

COVID hospital getting vacant in Lumbini Province with decrease in number of Infected

RUPANDEHI:  COVID Outbreaks have been reported in the Rupandehi, Banke and Dang districts of Lumbini province from the mid-week of March to the mid-week of June.

The beds set aside for COVID infections in the district hospitals have also become vacant after the number of newly infected and infected patients returned home after recovery.

Initially, the government had turned four government hospitals in Lumbini into COVID Special Hospitals. A dozen private health institutions including Universal Medical College and Banke Medical College were also given the responsibility of treating the infected after the Lumbini Provincial Hospital in Butwal of Rupandehi and Bhim Hospital in Bhairahawa, Bheri Hospital in Nepalgunj in Banke and COVID Special Hospital in Dang were unable to take more infected cases.

By the time the infection reached its peak, all the hospitals in the province were full of infected people. They were being treated on the floor and ground and hospital premises because of a lack of space and beds. Many lost their lives in home isolation without getting beds in dozens of hospitals. Most of the infected recovered by staying in home isolation. But now the situation has changed.

According to health experts, if the infection rate is less than 5 %, it can be considered under control. However, the province health and population ministry said caution was needed as the infection rate was still more than 5 %.

Until four weeks ago, the highest number of infections was confirmed outside the Kathmandu Valley, but now there are less than 500 active infections. According to health experts, the current situation should be considered normal in the district where around 8,000 people were actively infected.

At present, an average of 50 to 60 people are being infected daily in the district. The pressure of patients in the hospital has decreased. Local-level isolation centres have started to become vacant. The number of critical cases and deaths has dropped significantly.

Head of Health Office Dr. Rajendra Kumar Giri said that the infection rate of the district was very low. He said that antigen tests are being carried out in different municipalities at the community level and the families of the infected are being tested. 

Dr Giri said ‘Community testing has been conducted in all 16 local levels of the Butwal district with the highest number of infections. It has broken the chain of infection but the threat is not over yet.”

Health workers say that the infection rate is decreasing due to the prohibitory orders and social distance.

He said that the infection was decreasing in the number of people entering the country through PCR tests and also in those who did not do the test due to the reduction in the infection rate. At present, only the chronically ill and the disabled are suffering from the infection and the same patients are coming to the hospital, said Bishnu Prasad Gautam, Information Officer of Lumbini Provincial Hospital.

The situation is now normal in Banke, which was the first centre of COVID infection in Lumbini province. Many beds of Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital and Nepalgunj Medical College are now vacant.

Patients were hospitalized in the district until three weeks ago. Unable to cope with the pressure at Bheri Hospital, temporary treatment was arranged by pitching a tent on the premises. Public and private hospitals were full of infected people. At present, the pressure of the infected has decreased in Banke Hospital.

Isolations made at the local level are also empty. Public Health Inspector at the District Health Office, Naresh Shrestha, said that the patients now do not have to be restless for getting a bed.

According to the District Emergency Operations Center, the number of people living in home isolation has also decreased as the infection is decreasing.

The number of infected people has also decreased in Dang. There were more than 350 infected people being added daily, now only 20 to 30 are confirmed to have infection daily.

There are statistics that 7,800 people have been infected in the district alone in April. Of them, around 400 are currently actively infected. Hospital admissions and mortality rates have also declined.

The COVID Special Hospital in Belzhundi, where up to eight people used to die daily, has reported zero deaths. Manager Dorna Oli said that the hospital was closed due to the inability to cope with the influx of patients but now can take admissions.

According to the director of,  provincial health directorate, Dr Binod Giri, out of 80,181 people infected in the province so far, 2,042 are actively infected. Of them, 289 are in different hospitals.

So far, 72,881 people in the province have been vaccinated with the second dose. The province has an infection rate of 11.40%.

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