Amid the continuous increase in COVID-19 cases, the Nepalese Government has decided not to bear the costs of all virus-infected people and not to bury infected people who died during their home isolation.
The decision taken earlier this week by the administration of KP Sharma Oli was made public on Sunday by the daily COVID-19 briefing held by the Ministry of Health and Population.
Decided at the Cabinet meeting, a list of people completing those requirements will be issued by the government, the spokesperson for the Ministry announced.
“Those from economically deprived, differently-abled and helpless, single women, senior citizens, front-line health workers, sanitization workers, security personnel, and those civil servants who are working in the risk-prone zone would be tested for free and treated as well. In case the aforementioned persons have an insurance policy from any company, then expenses will be reimbursed from their insurance policy which shall cover the expenses of tests and treatment. Others who don’t fall in the criteria would require taking tests and expenses for treatment on their own,” Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, one of the spokespersons at the Ministry of Health and Population said in the regular press briefing on Sunday, reported ANI.
The latest decision has come into effect for all government , non-government hospitals and laboratories on a Sunday basis. More than 25% of the population (ADB figures, 2010) were deprived of proper tests for COVID-19 infection by the new decision.
A large number of people, particularly those on a daily basis, will be adversely affected as the standard COVID-19 test costs NPR 2,000 in private laboratories.
Government Hospitals and Laboratories have been performing the tests for almost free of cost as they earlier use to obtain reimbursement from the government on the basis of tests performed.
Besides, the Government has distanced itself from criminating the bodies of those succumbing to the deadly virus.
Amending the “Dead Body Management of COVID-19 Cases Guideline” by the Government, members of the family have buried their relatives if they die during their home isolation.
As per the new rule, the family members need to inform the local administration and police in case the infected person in home isolation dies and funeral rites need to be carried out by maintaining a physical distance. However, the guideline bars people above 60 years and children to participate in the procession.
The new regulation also states that family members would require to arrange a vehicle to carry the dead body while the persons going close with the body would need to wear gloves, surgical masks, boots, spectacles and full sleeve dress.
Kathmandu Valley which hosts almost half of the active cases in real-time have the highest number of infected ones in home isolations as a hospital run out of beds and other infrastructures.
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