Sunday, October 18, 2020

Government not to bear cost of Covid-19 treatment, PCR testing

 Almost after 6 months, the government has decided not to bear the cost of treatment and PCR testing of Covid-19 patients from today.

A cabinet meeting recently decided to bear only the cost of treatment and PCR testing of frontline workers including differently-abled, single women, senior citizens, security personnel, and sanitization workers, according to the Health Ministry. “They will also be tested only after showing Covid-19 symptoms.”

In a regular virtual press meeting today, spokesperson for the Health Ministry Dr Jageshwar Gautam confirmed that the decision will be effective – in all the government, non-governmental hospitals and laboratories – from today.

Ordinary citizens – other than the frontline workers – and other designated groups have to now onwards bear the cost of Covid-19 treatment and PCR tests on their own, which is against the socialism-oriented Constitution that guarantees the fundamental rights including health and education. However, the incumbent government is hell bent on distorting the Constitutional supremacy.

Likewise, the government has also asked the people to manage the funeral rites of their family members, who die of Covid-19 in home isolation. Earlier, the Nepalese Army has been managing the funeral.

First the government refused to take admission to the non-symptomatic patients in the hospital, and then not charging them for PCR and leaving them to manage the dead bodies.

Amending the ‘Dead Body Management of Covid-19 Cases Guideline’, the government has expressed its inability to manage the funerals of the people dying of Covid-19 in home isolation. The government decision is going to create additional troubles for the people at a time when the hospitals are almost full with patients of the coronavirus and the ambulance and hearse operators are refusing to carry Covid-19 cases.

According to the new rule, the family members need to inform the local administration and the police, if the infected individuals die at home. The funeral rites have to be carried out by maintaining physical distance but old people aged above 60 years and children are barred from participating in the rituals. “The family members themselves have to manage a vehicle to carry the dead body.”

The persons carrying the dead body need to wear gloves, surgical masks, boots, spectacles and full sleeve dress, the new rule reads, adding that the family members have to wrap the body in cloth and transfer it as soon as possible to the mortuary area.

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