Nepal is in lockdown until at least 27 April. Apart from travel for essential purposes, people are required to remain in their homes. A total ban on incoming international flights is also in place.
There are now nine confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country, although given the limited testing, people are justifiably concerned that this is the first signs of a much larger problem . The Government of Nepal is proceeding with extreme spatial distancing and isolation measures to limit what could be a devastating outbreak.
INF is working with provincial and local governments to help prevent the spread and control any outbreaks of coronavirus as well as preparing to treat people suffering COVID-19. INF doctors and other medical staff have been placed on a government roster to provide essential support, a triage tent and fever clinic has been set up at the main gate of Green Pastures Hospital, and The Ear Hospital has been set aside as an isolation and treatment centre if required.
Providing temperature testing for staff, patient and visitors to Green Pastures Hospital provides an early warning signal of any coronavirus infections. It’s essential to keep INF’s doctors and other health workers able to care for current patients and be ready to respond to COVID-19. Staff have also been intensively training to make proper use of Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] and to treat COVID-19 patients.
INF is also helping to ensure that the most marginalised people are not overlooked in prevention measures. In just the last week, Pokhara police have brought around thirty homeless children to Green Pastures Hospital for temperature testing, as well as general medical check-ups and treatment. This opportunity to serve poor and vulnerable young people is one way of ensuring that our responses to coronavirus don’t leave anyone behind.