Omicron: High caution observed in Sudurpaschim Province

Baitadi, Jan 7 –The Sudurpaschim Province is reporting increasing number of COVID-19 lately in wake of rapid spread of COVID-19 infection with Omicron variant in New Delhi in India.

According to the Health Directorate, COVID-19 was detected among majority of Nepalis returning home from various checkpoints in Sudurpaschim Province.

The province confirmed 120 cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday while only 55 cases were detected on last Wednesday. There were 40 new cases confirmed on last Tuesday, 28 on Monday and five on Sunday.

A large number of Nepalis migrant workers are entering Nepal from Jhulaghat in Baitadi, Pulghat and Jauljivi in Darchula, Gaddachauki in Kanchanpur and Trinagar in Kailali in the province on the daily basis.

The province is at high risk of infection with Omicron variant with growing number of Nepalis returning from Delhi and States such as Karnataka and Gujarat in India having higher infection with same variant.

Health checkup at the checkpoints are stepped up while antigen tests are being conducted on the persons entering Nepal, shared Yogesh Prasad Bhatta, chief of Health Office, Baitadi.

Bhatta shared that antigen tests were conducted at the bordering points to prevent the risk of COVID-19. “Those tested positive for COVID-19 are sent for treatment at home-isolation.”

The District Administration Office Baitadi has urged people to mandatorily abide by the health safety protocols in public transport, schools and in places where there is crowding.

Sudurpaschim Province Health Directorate’s COVID-19 Contact Person, Hemraj Joshi said vaccination programme against coronavirus infection has been intensified in view of the risk of Omicron.

“Arrangements have been made for conducting tests and vaccination of persons entering the province from India through various border transit points as the province is in high risk,” he said, adding that vaccination campaign has also been intensified for prevention and control of Omicron. More than 50 per cent of the population in this province has been vaccinated.

In addition to this, arrangements have been made for more effective health screening and holding centres at the border checkpoints by mobilizing medical teams.

The Directorate said prevention of the infection is quite challenging due to the open border with India. Forty eight thousand 519 people have tested positive for coronavirus out of the 435 thousand 725 samples tested in the province so far. Six hundred and fourteen people have died due to the coronavirus infection.

PCR tests are done at eight different laboratories while antigen tests are done in all the districts of the province.

There are 392 isolation beds, 135 HDUs, 126 COVID HDUs, 63 ICUs, 48 COVID ICU beds, 45 ventilators and 26 COVID ventilators have been kept in ready position in the province. Vaccination campaign against coronavirus infection is underway in all the districts at present and the local governments have been urging their citizens to take the jabs.

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