Jumla’s COVID-19 Patient Isolated In Tent Near Jungle

A COVID-19 patient in Jumla has been staying isolated in a tent set up near a jungle.

Chandra Bir Tiruwa of Sinja Rural Municipality-2, who had tested positive for the virus, has been placed in a tent after the hospital sent him back home.

He was compelled to isolate himself under a tent as he does not have a separate room for isolation in his house. As he developed symptoms of the coronavirus infection, Tiruwa was sent to the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences for RT-PCR test by Sinja Rural Municipality.

“After I tested positive for COVID-19, I was sent back home even though the isolation beds were available,” said Tiruwa furiously. “I had thought that I would be at ease after I get admitted to the hospital. But as they sent me home instead, I feel discriminated.”He complained that he was not placed in the isolation centre set up by the local level.

Nabin Sharma, ward chair of Sinja-2, said, “Karnali Academy’s decision to send an infected patient back home has drawn our serious concerns.”Meanwhile, according to Nar Bahadur Rokaya, health coordinator of Sinja Rural Municipality, a five-bed isolation centre had been set up in the rural municipality.

“However, we have not been able to place infected patients in the isolation centre due to lack of adequate infrastructure, including oxygen supply,” he said. Rokaya added, “As we were informed that the patient was suffering from dysentery, we have already sent medications to him.”Meanwhile, according to Dr Rajiv Shahi, director at the KAHS, the hospital was currently providing treatment to seriously ill virus-infected patients having difficulty in respiration due to the massive increase in active cases of COVID-19.

“It is safe for the local levels to keep infected patients not having serious illness at local levels itself,” said Dr Shahi, adding, “As the number of severely ill patients being admitted to the hospital has been rising daily, the patients in critical condition are in more need of hospital beds and oxygen support.

“He informed that of the 66 patients admitted to the hospital, 11 were under oxygen support. Meanwhile, a team of the National Human Rights Commission has reached Sinja for inspection after Tiruwa was placed separately inside a tent even though the isolation centres operated by the government were empty.

The team carried out an inspection by adopting all safety protocols from 30 meters away from the tent where Tiruwa was staying. Dhan Raj Shahi, an officer of the NHRC, Jumla, Kiran Baral and a team of the Federation of Nepali Journalists had carried out the inspection and had talked to Tiruwa’s family members.