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Covid19 Update 3

Published 17th March 2020.

Covid19 and Nepal.

As of today 17th March 2020:
Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 182,269 (>100,000 cases outside China)
Total Death: 7,127 (> 3200 outside China)

We have been closely monitoring the outbreak of Novel Corona Virus aka Covid19 right from the beginning of outbreak.
As this is a new virus, there are limited information available. The information we share are completely based only on facts gathered from authentic medical articles and journals, medical and epidemiological experts around the world. (WHO, CDC, Websites of Health Ministry, JAMA, doctors directly involved in treating Covid19 patients).

We all know, as of this day, China has successfully contained the virus, but it has started to massively invade Europe, Iran and USA, with numbers increasing rapidly in 1000s every day.

But why Nepal is spared till NOW?

We are very lucky indeed that we do not have any active cases in Nepal at the time of this writing.
Multiple factors played the positive role for Nepal.
1. China locking down the whole Wuhan province, contained the spread of virus only inside the Wuhan and even other provinces of China were spared. Locking down China’s border. Strict monitoring of passengers flying in and out of China. This measure alone spared neighboring Countries.
2. Wise decision by a Corona patient – Nepalese student to head straight to Teku Hospital and getting isolated timely, treated and completely cured and contained. The only imported case of Covid19 in Nepal.
3. Timely decision of Nepal Government to cancel Visit Nepal 2020 and cancel the Visa on arrival for Covid19 affected Countries and later cancelling all Visas on Arrival and mandatory certificate of Corona Free Medical Certificate for foreigners and mandatory self-quarantine for all foreigners and Nepalese entering the Country.
4. Timely intervention by India on control of virus spread.
5. Weather and temperature: as seen the Covid19 was spreading more in Northern Hemisphere, just like Flu, in colder climates. Countries with warmer climates were experiencing relatively slower rate of spread. This meant Covid19 is not friendly with warm weathers and sunlight.
All these factors were helping Nepal to stay safe till Today.

But this doesn’t mean that we are safe yet. The outbreak in the World should flatten down once the temperature will start rising, which is expected in coming 2-3 months.
So, next 2-3 months Nepal is still vulnerable.

YOU can help!

There is no reason to panic yet, but at the same time, we all, every individual Nepalese should be responsible to play our part on prevention, which has worked so far.
Right now, every citizen of Nepal has a vital role to play so that we can continue to make Nepal Corona Free.

Most important what we have seen from the experience of other Countries, that helps to prevent the Covid19 is “STOP IMPORTING the Covid19”. Major threat right now is our large open border between India and Nepal. Refrain from Travelling as much as possible. Postpone for better times. Government is doing whatever it can with whatever resources they have. Obviously, it’s not enough and it will never be enough. Even the Government of strongest economy in the World could not.

What you should do?

1. Stop travels. Postpone.
2. If you travel follow governments recommendation of self-quarantine. Be serious and responsible. 80% of Covid19 patients are mild and do not have any symptoms in the beginning, but already capable of spreading the virus.
3. Social distancing. Stop parties. Stop celebrations – marriage, bratabandha, etc. Stop going to such gathering even if they invite you.
4. Try to stay home as much as possible.
5. Wash hands regularly.
6. If you have respiratory symptoms. Stay home. Wear mask. Cough, sneeze covering your mouth and nose. Dispose the tissues immediately. Wash hands with soap or sanitizers immediately.
7. Try as much as possible NOT to touch your face.
8. Practice Namaste instead of handshakes.

Two and half months we could prevent Covid19, so we can prevent it for next two and half months, then Covid19 activity will wear off naturally.

Stop being misinformed. Do not believe everything you read in social media that cause fear and panic only.

We will not give recommendation what to do in case of outbreak now. We think it’s too early and we don’t want people to panic. We are closely monitoring the spread and will update when necessary.

Stay tuned.

by Dr. Denis Shrestha

Don’t Panic and Stay Calm.