Nepal Health Research Foundation, which paid for the treatment, is now preparing to introduce plasma therapy to 12 other hospitals across the country, especially in the Tarai districts where there are growing numbers of COVID-19 patients in ICU. The Foundation is now preparing a protocol for treatment, allowing it to be used only in patients above 18 years, and designating two doctors for each hospital to carry out the treatment.
“This is not a clinical trial, but it is a very encouraging outcome, and it is a good start,” said the Foundation’s Pradip Gyawali, who added that there are eight seriously ill patients at the Seti Provincial Hospital in Dhangadi who could be the next beneficiaries.
The total confirmed cases in Nepal continues to rise with 246 people testing positive on Sunday out of the 8,869 people tested. Although the positivity rate appears to be going down, the new hotspots in the Tarai cities bordering India now have a higher proportion of patients showing serious symptoms. This is in contrast to the previous months when 97% of cases were asymptomatic.
Nepal now has 20,332 confirmed cases, of which 14,603 have recovered. There are 5,672 patients undergoing treatment, most of them in Province 2 and Far-west Province. There was one more COVID-19 fatality of a 67-year-old patient in Birganj on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths nationwide to 57.
Of the 246 new cases on Sunday, 89 were in Parsa District. The border cities of Birganj, Rajbiraj, Biratnagar and Nepalganj are all under various stages of re-imposed lockdowns. Birganj had gone down to nearly zero cases two weeks ago when there was a sudden surge. Health authorities blame this on the lifting of the lockdown in Nepal, and increased movement of people from India to Nepal through the open border without testing.
Kathmandu back to ‘old normal’, Nepali Times
After a surge in cases in Kathmandu, the government has tightened controls at the four entry points to the Valley, and started testing people with symptoms. It has closed all incoming and outgoing traffic from 7PM-7AM every day.
The Health Ministry reported that 258 traffic policemen have tested positive for the coronavirus, and there is an increase in the number of cases among Nepal Army personnel in response teams.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Kathmandu Valley has increased five-fold in the past month since the government lifted the lockdown.
Has Nepal’s lockdown just postponed COVID-19?, Sudyumna Dahal
Nepal’s exit strategy, Nepali Times