Kathmandu: The daily Covid-19 infection rate has seen a sharp decline in the last one week, even though the government has lifted restrictions.
The data provided by the Ministry of Health and Population shows that the number of active Covid-19 cases has seen a sharp dip, with daily cases recorded at 1,000 on an average.
Public health experts attribute this fall to various factors and suggest that Covid infection risks still remain, the reason people still need to be alert and follow the safety protocols.
According to the experts, the infection rate has decreased in recent times, mainly because of the vaccination campaign and antibodies developed in people in the second wave of Covid-19 infection.
According to a recent study of the Health Ministry, 68.6 percent of Nepal’s population has developed antibodies against Covid-19. “The seroprevalence study shows that 80 percent of the population receiving the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine has developed antibodies against the virus. Likewise, 90 percent of people receiving both shots against Covid-19 vaccine developed antibodies,” said Dr Samir Adhikari, who is the spokesperson for the Health Ministry.
As the government has aggressively rolled out a vaccination campaign, and a huge chunk of the population has developed antibodies against Covid-19, the infection rate has declined in the recent week, according to the Health Ministry.
As of Sunday, more than five million people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while four million people have gotten a single shot.
“Apart from the vaccination campaign and antibodies against Covid-19, people are now aware of the risks of the pandemic. People are following health safety protocols, the reason behind the decline in the rate of infection,” added spokesperson Adhikari.
On Saturday, Nepal reported 994 cases and 12 deaths, a significant decline in the number compared to a month ago.
According to virologist Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, the mortality rate and the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals have seen a sharp decline. “The infection rate has declined, but the risks still remain. There is no contact tracing, and people are still reluctant to follow health safety protocols,” said Dr Pun.
Dr Pun also says that there has been no genetic change in Covid-19 variant in Nepal. “There was a massive spread of the Delta variant in the second wave, against which a huge chunk of the population has developed antibodies. This might also be the reason behind the decline in the infection rate,” he said.
“Still, a huge chunk of the population is yet to get vaccinated against Covid-19. And as the festive season is coming, we are not out of risk yet,” Dr Pun concluded.
Likewise, Dr Sameer Mani Dixit, a public health expert, said there might be a slight spike in the number of cases during the festive season.
“The latest study of the Health Ministry also shows a huge chunk of the population has developed antibodies against the virus. The decline can also be attributed to localized herd immunity,” said Dr Dixit. “People still need to be conscious and follow the protective measures.”