The Narainapur area in Banke is in grief after a youth died in quarantine here on Sunday morning due to the COVID-19 infection.
The 25-year-old from Nayabasti of Matehiya, Narainapur-5 who returned home from India on May 12 was confirmed to have contracted the virus after his death. Narainapur lies in some 35-km south east from the district headquarters Nepalgunj.
The report has increased the fear of COVID-19 among the villagers. It has aggravated fear among the general public thinking that the infection has already been spread across the settlement, according to Sohanlal Yadav, a local leader.
There are grievances from the public that health and other arrangements in the quarantine where the youth was put after his arrival from Mumbai, India were poor.
Rural municipality chief administrative officer Maniram Kharal said the entire village was in distress with the unexpected death of the youth. They are scared due to heightened fear of the spread of the virus, according to him. ”It is time for having patience instead of being scared and losing confidence,” he said.
Quarantine centers in the village have been further systematized and health workers and an ambulance are kept stand-by to render services in emergency need, according to him.
The youth who was put in the Bhagawanpur-based Dipendra Secondary School’s quarantine at Matehiya vomited twice before breathing his last on Sunday morning. Though his throat swab sample was collected on Saturday, the report had come only on Sunday afternoon, as said by District Public Health Office, Banke’s local resource person Naresh Shrestha. The body was kept in the quarantine until the report had come.
The meeting of the District Disaster Management Committee in full consent of the locals of the deceased’s family decided to cremate the dead body in the place lying three kilometres away from the venue where the patient had died.
The cremation took place as per the rituals but due to the fear of COVID-19’s infection, neither the locals nor the bereaved families had attended the last rites.
SP of the District Police Office Banke Bir Bahadur Oli shared that the final rites of the COVID-19-infected person were performed as per the guidelines on dead body handling prepared by the Ministry of Health and Population so as to minimize the risks of spread of infection.
The trained teams consisting of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and health workers were the only authorized to perform and attend the final rites of the person succumbing to the deadly infection.
A high alert and awareness has been maintained in Narainapur area and has been sealed off to prevent further infection, informed SP Oli.
Of those returning from India and kept in isolation, eight were tested positive for COVID-19 including the deceased youth. Three of them were quarantined on the premises of Dipendra Primary School.
There were currently 38 persons suspected to have contracted COVID-19 staying in quarantine facility. Based on the contract tracking of the infected ones, the nasal and throat swab of as many as 263 persons coming in contact with the infected ones were collected as of Saturday.
The report of their PCR test is due today, informed Bheri Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Prakash Thapa.
The Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance’s Nepalgunj Chief Alam Khan has expressed his concern over the risk of COVID-19 among the health workers and security personnel who were working in the frontline to fight the pandemic.
Khan also demanded due compensation to the family of the deceased and drew attention towards proper management of the quarantine facilities.
Source: National News Agency