KATHMANDU- The government has decided to hospitalize only those COVID-19 patients showing serious symptoms of the virus.
The cabinet meeting held on Thursday decided to allow hospitals to admit only those patients suffering symptoms, while others with mild symptoms or asymptomatic can choose to remain in self-isolation or government-operated isolation centers.
Releasing the cabinet decision on Friday, Yuba Raj Khatiwada, the government spokesperson, stated that COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms will be permitted to remain in home isolation while following necessary health protocols.
Minister Khatiwada stated that Thursday’s cabinet meeting was solely focused on addressing measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
According to the cabinet decision, a health institution or unit designated by the Ministry of Health and Population will give permission to any asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to remain in self-isolation by following necessary health protocols. Patients will have to inform the local unit which will be responsible for monitoring them.
However, asymptomatic patients who are unable to remain in self-isolation will be housed at isolation centers operated by the government.
In line with this policy, the government has also decided to make arrangements for 6,000 isolation beds in the Kathmandu Valley, and add more beds gradually. To build isolation centers, the government decided to use government hospitals as well as other private, teaching hospitals and health institutes based on requirements.
Outside the Kathmandu Valley, the Chief Minister’s Office of provincial governments will make arrangements for isolation beds in collaboration with the Provincial COVID-19 Crisis Management Center and District COVID-19 Crisis Management Center. The federal government will release the required budget from the Coronavirus Control and Treatment Fund.
The cabinet meeting also decided to mobilize the Nepal Army for the security of isolation centers.
The decision of the government to hospitalize only those patients with serious symptoms comes in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, corona-virus designated hospitals are being overwhelmed with patients.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, the country recorded 838 new cases in the last 24 hours that included 182 new cases in the Kathmandu valley alone. As of Friday evening, the total confirmed coronavirus cases of Nepal surged to 30,483. With the single-day highest deaths of 11 on Friday, a total of 137 COVID-19 patients have lost their lives, according to the Ministry.
Minister Khatiwada stated that the decision is aimed at addressing the possible shortage of beds for serious COVID-19 patients.
Earlier last week, the government required all private hospitals to reserve 20 percent of their total beds to COVID-19 patients. The government has also decided to bear the treatment costs of COVID-19 patients admitted to private hospitals.