Nepal’s cases skyrocket, prompting concern the country’s outbreak could mimic India’s

In Nepal, a cool and familiar situation is spreading.

The number of cases of Covid-19 is skyrocketing, hospitals are overwhelmed, and the Prime Minister is seeking help from other countries.

Nepal currently reports about 20 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people. This is about the same number that India reported two weeks ago.

44% of Nepal’s Covid tests returned positive last weekend, according to government statistics warned of an imminent crisis by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In a statement, Nepal’s Red Cross President, Dr. Netra Prasad Timsina, said, “What is happening in India today cannot stop the surge of this latest Covid, which is killing more in minutes. If so, it’s a terrifying preview of Nepal’s future. “

The rapid spread of the virus has caused fear that Nepal is at stake as catastrophic as India.

Nepal’s health system is fragile, with fewer doctors per capita and lower vaccination coverage. From that neighbor. The high test positive rate in this country suggests that we have not caught almost enough cases.

Large-scale public events such as festivals, political rallies, and weddings have allowed the incident to spread, along with complacency for the general public and slowing government behavior.

“The situation is getting worse day by day and could go out of control in the future,” said Dr. Samir Adikali, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Population in Nepal, on Monday.

Nepal has tightened borders and imposed blockades in the worst-damaged areas, including the capital, but it may not be enough to contain the virus as it extends to the entire capital and even to Everest Base Camp. ..

Porous border

Only a month ago, the 31 million Himalayan country reported about 100 cases a day. Now it’s over 8,600.

Some have accused India of a raging second wave spilling over into Nepal, which shares a long and open border with its neighbors.

Nepalese do not need to show their passport or ID card to enter the country. Many Nepalese do business in India and vice versa. This means that there is a lot of cross-border traffic. In recent weeks, some Indians have fled the second wave of their country, hoping to access Nepalese health care or flee to a third country, according to Adikali.

“It’s very difficult to stop all movement between the two countries,” he added.

Recently, Nepal has tightened those rules. According to Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gawali, Nepalese citizens can now only cross from India at 13 of the 35 border points.

However, returnees need to be tested at the border, according to Shanka Bahadur Vista, Assistant Chief District Officer in the Banque district, which borders India.

Anyone with a negative test can go home, but if positive, he must go to a quarantine facility or hospital, he added.

However, Nepal-based public health research scientist Dr. Samir Mani Dixit said these measures were too late. The virus had already spread throughout the country.

Large gathering

The Nepalese crisis began to be built in early April as state Prime Minister KP Sharmaoli advertised yet another unproven coronavirus treatment.

Ori said that gargling can cure the disease Guava leavesIn addition to his ridiculous comments last year, the Nepalese had a stronger immune system because they were consuming spices daily.

As April progressed, Nepalese gathered at religious festivals across Indian borders at home and across borders. There, Nepalese followers joined the Hindus who bathed in the Ganges for Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious rallies in the world.

According to a statement from the Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu, they included former Nepalese kings Gyanendra Shah and Queen Komal Shah, who were hospitalized in Covid-19 when they returned to Nepal.

Around the same time, thousands of Nepalese gathered in the capital to celebrate major religious festivals. Pahan Charhe.. Others gathered in the nearby city of Bhaktapur to celebrate the Biscuit Jatra. Despite the authorities According to local media, he ordered not to do so.One placard to support the event read: “Our festival is more important to us than our lives.”

On April 24, when the country reported more than 2,400 new incidents, the media around Ori when he launched a new Dharahara to replace the tower destroyed in the 2015 deadly earthquake. I got together.

Five days later, on April 29, when the number of incidents per day doubled to more than 4,800, the government imposed a two-week blockade on the capital. The next day, the Ministry of Health and Population admitted that it was overwhelming.

“The number of infections is increasing beyond the control of the health system, making it difficult to provide beds for treatment,” the ministry said in a statement on April 30.

Ori said on Monday that the virus had spread despite the government’s “maximum efforts” to contain the virus in Nepal.

“We live in an interrelated and interrelated world, so no one is spared and no one is safe in such a pandemic,” he said in English.

The lack of government action has offended the people of Nepal.

Experts say the second wave may not have been prevented, but the government may have done more to control it.

Political analyst Surendra Labh said it was inappropriate to move the festival forward, arguing that such an event, along with the wedding, exacerbated the outbreak.

“I don’t think the government is handling the outbreak well … the government is more focused on its own politics,” he said.

Health expert Suresh Panthee, one of the founders of the Sustainable Study and Research Institute in Nepal, said Nepal has become self-satisfied after avoiding catastrophic outbreaks during the first wave.

He said Nepal could have prepared a quarantine system for returning citizens when the incidents increased across national borders. “I had enough time, but I wasn’t ready.”

Struggle medical system

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, which is reflected in its healthcare system.

According to the government’s Covid-19 response plan from May last year, the country 1,595 intensive care units and 480 ventilators For that about 30 million people.

It also has Lack of doctors, 0.7 According to World Bank data, the number of doctors per 100,000 is less than 0.9 in India. While the Nepalese Army instructed retired medical staff to prepare to be recalled on Wednesday, healthcare workers on long vacations are being recalled to help manage the crisis.

As of Saturday, 22 of the country’s 77 districts were short of beds, according to the Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) in Nepal.

Dr. Paras Shrestha, a senior doctor in the Covid-19 ICU ward in the border city of Nepalgunj, says his hospital is so overkill that he advises patients with mild symptoms to be isolated at home. ..

The situation in the city is already “critical,” and the same could happen elsewhere, warned that the situation in the city was already “critical,” said Dipac Shrestha, head of UNICEF’s Nepalgunj field office.

The Nepalese government seems to be taking action as India has been hit by its brutal second wave.

According to Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, last week the demand for medical oxygen tripled, so we ordered 20,000 oxygen cylinders from abroad.

And on Tuesday, Nepalese troops began expanding medical facilities in the border area with India, To accommodate a large number of Nepalese workers returning home.

A 200-bed quarantine center has been added along with 2,000 beds to a facility in Sudurpashchim province where authorities have reported a shortage of oxygen cylinders.

However, the challenges are enormous.

The positive rate in Nepal is about twice that in India, suggesting that many cases have not been detected.

Tests have been upgraded since the start of the first wave — the country first sent tests to Hong Kong for processing, but was upgraded approximately 20,000 tests 1 day.

That’s not enough yet, Pansy said.

There were signs of underreporting at the base camp, and two sources told CNN that there had been dozens of suspected cases of Covid-19 in the past few weeks. A spokesperson for the Nepalese Tourism Board denied the incident.

Moreover, Nepal has a low immunization rate. As of the end of last month 7.2% About 10% of the population has been vaccinated at least once, at least less than in India, which is partially vaccinated.

“We can say that the government is doing its best,” said Adhikari of the Ministry of Health. “But this country has a very weak and fragile health care system.”

What will happen next?

The next few weeks will be very important in controlling the outbreak of Nepal.

Authorities imposed a two-week blockade in Kathmandu last Thursday, but some migrant workers returned home before it came into effect.

Villages are often elderly and have limited medical care, raising concerns that migrants may have spread the virus to remote areas. Adhikari said it was too early to say whether the pre-blockade transition would lead to another surge.

“Within a few weeks, our situation will get worse, but we’re doing our best,” he said.

Authorities are taking other steps to limit the spread. Ori said in a national television speech Monday that all international flights would be banned from May 6. Rules restricting meetings are in force in 46 of the 77 districts.

Shrestha, a Nepalgunj doctor, wants the case to go down if people follow the rules and are patient.

However, Dixit says the rules change frequently, making it difficult for the general public to comply with them. Blockades alone are not enough, Pansy says. The government needed to test all close contacts, identify positive cases, better manage borders, and increase oxygen supply.

And these blockades are costly. Gita Kuchikar, a 45-year-old cleaner and three mothers living in Kathmandu, lost her job due to the blockade of the city and concerns about her children’s education.

“I’m scared in Nepal because of the increasing number of cases as in India,” she said. “I don’t know how our government will deal with this situation.”

More festivals are approaching in the coming weeks. The Rato Macchidranath Festival is scheduled to begin near Kathmandu later this month, but organizers have stated that they will adopt social distance measurements and forced masking. National media..

Gautam, the Ministry of Health, predicted that he might not comply with curfew or blockade orders for the celebration.

“Several festivals will be held during this ban, but the government can’t say anything,” Gautam said, adding that the situation is now in the hands of the Nepalese people. ..

“We are tired of telling people to follow safety measures.”

Nepal’s cases skyrocket, prompting concern the country’s outbreak could mimic India’s Source link Nepal’s cases skyrocket, prompting concern the country’s outbreak could mimic India’s

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