Nepal witnesses surge in Covid-19 cases, positivity rate shoots to 11 pc

Experts say lack of enforcement and adherence to public health criteria and health safety protocols and unchecked movement from India are behind the rapid surge.

Photo: WHO

NL Today

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Kathmandu: A total of 357 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country in the past 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.

The new cases were confirmed through 3,357 sample tested through PCR and antigen tests in various labs across the country during the same period. The positivity rate is at 10.63 percent.

No new death was reported in the last 24 hours. Nepal’s Covid-19 death tally stands at 11,954 as of Tuesday afternoon.

Similarly, 60 people recovered from the deadly infection in a day, taking the recovery toll to 968,126 to date. The infection rate stands at 98.6 percent, informed the Ministry.

Currently, there are 1,982 active cases of Covid-19 in the country. Among them, 1,865 were being treated in home isolation, 117 in institutional isolation, and 19 in ICU.

Nepal has witnessed a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases over the past few days. The infection rate has been spiking steadily since the beginning of July. On July 11, 168 new cases of Covid-19 were reported, on July 12, 177 new cases while 206 were recorded on July 13, 260 on July 14, and 229 on July 15.

Likewise, 205 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded on July 16, 135 on July 17 and 457 on July 18  

The infection rate that was 0.5 per cent has reached 10.63 per cent at present. Kathmandu has over 500 active cases of Covid-19.

The active and new cases of Covid-19 in Nepal were on rising alongside the increase of the infection in India, said Dr Chuman Lal Das, Director at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division.

Dr Das further said, “Covid-19 infection is rising in India daily. Thousands of people are entering Nepal from India through the Nepal-India border. The infection has been detected in those entering Nepal from those border points. Those people are spreading the infection.”

He viewed that lack of enforcement and adherence to public health criteria and health safety protocols is behind the increase in cases.

All have been advised to wear masks, avoid crowds, wash hands with soap and maintain physical distance among others to prevent Covid-19 spread, he said.

The study of gene sequencing in Nepal showed that BA5, the sub-variant of Omicron, has been detected in Nepal. This sub-variant is highly contagious. Dr Das said that hospitals and labs would be kept in standby mode with the increasing cases of Covid-19 in the country of late.

Dr Manisha Rawal, Director at the Shukraraj Tropical and Communicable Diseases Hospital, shared that patients started arriving for treatment at the hospital last week.

The Hospital recorded the first Covid-19 patient in the Nepali month of Aashad (mid-June to mid-July) since the third wave last February. A total of five Covid-19 patients were being treated at the hospital at present. Among them, one was availing treatment in an ICU facility while the remaining four were in a regular cabin.