News Digest (August 27 – September 2, 2020)


COVID testing


Nepal Covid-19 tally stand at 42,877 as death toll reaches 257: Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 42,877 and the death tally has reached 257. Province No. 2 has reported 11,251 cases with 97 deaths, Bagmati Pradesh has reported 8,880 cases with 65 deaths, Province No. 5 has reported 6,785 cases with 34 deaths, Sudurpaschim Pradesh has reported 6,136 cases with 9 deaths, Province No. 1 has reported 3,616 cases with 28 deaths, Karnali Pradesh has reported 2,568 cases with 4 deaths, and Gandaki Pradesh has reported 2,413 cases with 14 deaths.[1]

Soaring number of infections suggest lockdown without ramping up contact tracing efforts are futile: Despite lockdown like restrictions in the valley, the number of cases continue to rise at an alarming rate. Health experts have stressed the importance of ramping up contact tracing during lockdown as a key to curbing the transmission of the virus. However, the soaring number of cases suggest that the restrictions are not proving effective in containing the virus from spreading.[2]

Doctors suggest starting antibody tests as current measures prove ineffective: If the soaring number of infections in the Kathmandu valley are any indication, the lockdown like restrictions have not been effective in curbing the spread of the virus. Doctors have said that “apart from testing, tracing and treating, the government should have resorted to seroprevalence surveys that can provide data on the prevalence of the virus in communities, thereby helping the authorities locate hotspots and take various necessary measures accordingly.”[3]

Experts urge making protection of health care workers a priority to avoid dire consequences for the country: According to reports, so far, 800 health workers, including over 200 doctors have been infected with the virus all over Nepal. This has led to a shortage of healthcare workers and stalling of treatments for various non-COVID related ailments. Health experts have warned that not protecting health workers could have disastrous effects on a country already buckling under the pressure of COVID-19.[4]





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