We have received an update on the situation at Lalgadh:
• Lalgadh Hospital and the surrounding area is in total lockdown since 4th May. The roads are empty and most shops are closed except for brief periods. Police are patrolling to enforce the lockdown.
• Patient numbers have dropped from an average of about 365 daily visits in April, to about 75 visits in May. Staff duty rotas have been changed to reduce the staff on duty to minimise staff-staff and staff-patient contact and therefore infection risks.
• COVID infections – some verified – are present in Lalgadh village, Tulasi village, and Bardibas. Deaths are occurring, especially in Janakpur.
• The team managed to obtain 5 Oxygen Cylinders last week (w/c 3rd May), but these cannot be obtained from anywhere now. That gives a total of 10 cylinders in hand.
• They have 4 Oxygen generators which work OK for low and moderate Oxygen needs (up to about 4L/min)
• They have 32 COVID Rapid Antigen Test kits.
• All staff have had their 2 doses of AstraZenica vaccine.
• Malati (an ex-nurse from Lalgadh married to a staff member) was taken to Dhulikel Hospital very ill on 4th May. She is still on oxygen but now doing better. The son of another staff member is currently in Dharan hospital on oxygen. A member of the night staff is in isolation after being tested PCR positive, and some staff family members have clinical symptoms and those staff are staying away from work.
• All the inpatient nurses have been to Bardibas on 12th May for a PCR test.
• The boom gate is down across the entry-way into the hospital. All patients seeking access through hospital gates have their temperature taken, must wear masks and wash their hands.
• The hospital walkways are being sprayed regularly with bleach.
• Visitors are not allowed access to the inpatients from the outpatients.
The situation in Nepal generally is difficult, with no spare bed space in hospitals, and little oxygen available as it is being used far faster than it can be produced. Infection rates (as measured) are about 9000 new cases per day and death rates are around 175 per day. the real figures will be a lot higher.
With the situation as it is, your prayers and any support are very valuable, and our staff in Nepal are extremely grateful to know that their lives and work are being upheld in your prayers. Do remember Dr Clugston and his wife Meena as they have been in the situation there since early 2020, and have been a great support in guiding the various measures that have helped to keep the hospital and its staff functioning in a safe way.
Many thanks, the NLT UK team