Kathmandu Valley to expand COVID-19 tracing and testing

As the number of cases increase in Kathmandu Valley, a meeting of the Valley Municipal Forum has decided to expand contact tracing and subsequent testing.

Expressing its serious concerns to the probability of COVID-19 contagion at the community level in the valley, a meeting of the forum on Sunday had decided to this effect. The meeting was attended by the Chairperson of the Forum and Mayor of Kathmandu Municipality Bidhya Sundar Shakya, Vice-chair of the Forum and Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolis, Chiri Babu Maharjan, and Secretary of the Forum and Mayor of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality, Madan Sundar Shrestha.

“The number of coronavirus infected people has gone up significantly every day. If this situation persists for some more days, the virus will make its way to the community,” said Shakya.

He said that the community level transmission of the disease in the federal Capital would create havoc in administration and many other works.

Therefore, the forum has a plan to move ahead united to expedite contact tracing and virus testing in the valley. The dense settlements in various parts of the cities in the valley would be fertile ground for easy and rapid transmission of the virus.

A restriction order was issued in the valley four days ago with the increasing graph of the coronavirus patients. The local governments here have decided to utilise the restriction period to expand contact tracing and testing base.

“We will make a provision to treat everyone testing positive to the virus. People who are not in the circle of contact tracing but have exhibited the symptoms of COVID-19 would be tested and treated,” said Shakya.

The meeting will continue to make further decision regarding the issue.
Making continuous announcement through the loudspeaker in order to create awareness is also in the priority where the municipalities will appeal people with symptoms to contact the local governments

Secretary Shrestha said that they would move ahead with a set time-table for contact tracing and testing.

“We plan to contact trace 15,000 to 20,000 people. The meeting tomorrow will decide about details of the plan such as where to begin and when to conduct testing,” he said.

He said that the people were urged to stay in their home so if something important is not done to check the spread of the virus, there might not be better occasion in the future.

The forum had interacted with the experts-including Dr. Khem Karki, public health advisor to the Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, Mahendra Prasad Shrestha, chief expert of the Health Ministry and director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division at the Department of Health Services, Dr. Bashu Dev Pandey.