May 15 : The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has expanded the coverage of medical tests for novel coronavirus in the view of the increasing risks of the spread of the disease in the Kathmandu Valley.
In this connection, KMC carried out such tests at the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market area in the capital on Thursday (May 14). It applied both the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic methods from 11 am to 6.30 pm in coordination with the Kalimati Fruits ad Vegetables Market Development Committee and the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division.
According to the KMC, the tests were carried out to check for novel coronavirus infection among the drivers and helpers engaged in bringing the fruits, vegetables, fish and other agricultural products in the Market. Other related persons working in it like porters, workers, employees, cleaning staff and security persons were also medically examined.
Mayor of the KMC Bidya Sundar Shakya and deputy mayor Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha were present on the occasion. Deputy mayor Shrestha underwent a PCR test as part of this. Test results of the Deputy Mayor and others who underwent the tests are awaited. On the occasion, mayor Shakya said KMC has started carrying out the tests in the view of the increased risks of the spread of COVID-19 and urged all to strictly abide by the lockdown. Deputy mayor Shrestha said the tests would be expanded and all the people’s representatives and employees engaged in prevention and control of the pandemic would be brought under its ambit.
Chief of Epidemiology and Epidemic Control Section, Dr Amrit Pokharel, said works have been started with the objective of conducting RDT for COVID-19 on 70 per cent of the citizens at comparatively low risk areas and of carrying out the PCR tests on 30 per cent citizens who are exposed to risk. There are 550 licensed traders engaged in wholesale and retail trade from the Market.
On normal days, more than 10 thousand people frequent the market on a daily basis while on an average over 1,000 vehicles and 2,000 motorcycles carrying vegetables, fruits and fish ply to and from it. Similarly, 500 porters and sixty three employees including security persons are employed for managing the Market.