Nepal nears 10k daily cases
Nepal is very close to hitting that ominous mark of 10K new cases a day with 9,196 positive RT PCR and RDT tests on Friday, bringing the total active infections across the country to 78,629. There were additional 50 deaths in the last 24 hours.
At the current rate of replication of the virus, the Health Ministry’s projections of the second wave peaking at 15,000 new cases a day by July will fall modest, and soon. It is now evident that the second wave is sweeping Nepal faster than most parts of India and the world at 211 cases per 1 million population.
Meanwhile, according to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, 91 reporters working in 25 different media houses have rested positive for coronavirus disease, as of Thursday.
Most of them are isolating at home but a few are undergoing treatment in Patan Hospital, Manmohan Memorial, Norvic, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Centre and Nepal Police Hospital.
Of the total new cases on Friday, nearly half of them (4,106) as have been the cases on a daily basis are from Kathmandu Valley, where doctors are overwhelmed with patients and major hospitals have exhausted their ICUs, ventilators and oxygen cylinders.
The city’s only electric crematorium designed for Covid-19 deaths was unable to handle the increasing number of fatalities. Currently, of the 5,860 people admitted to hospitals, 728 are in ICU and 231 of them are in ventilator support.
But even as the pandemic breaks across the country with devastating consequences, Nepalis are unlikely to get a vaccine anytime soon.
In a press release on Friday, the Health Ministry spokesman Jageshwor Gautam said that Nepal wouldn’t be able to import more vaccines from India at the moment.
“Serum Institute of India has informed us that would deliver the vaccines once they have recovered from the fire and have expanded their capacity, we are not in a situation to buy additional 5 million doses,” he added.
After ordering two million doses of Covishield vaccines, Nepal has begun the procedure to buy additional five million shots and as such prime minister K P Oli had announced that the target population would be inoculated in three months.
But Nepal is yet to receive one million doses it paid for and India is struggling to meet its own demand as it records an excess of 400,000 new cases a day.
Away from the doom and gloom, locked down Kathmandu is abloom in Jacaranda, with the streets leading up to Tundikhel painted in purple.
Just like last year this time during the first shutdown, nature has taken over the usual hustle and bustle of the city, but there are few on the streets to admire the sight.