News Digest – National Security & Climate Change (April 08 – 15, 2021)

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According to the health ministry, as of April 16, Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 282,054 and the death tally has reached 3,066. There are 4,384 active cases of infection in the country while 274,604 people have made a recovery.

Nepal has recently seen a dramatic surge in Covid-19 cases after a period of steady decline in the number of infections. The Health Ministry has begun reporting almost 500 hundred cases in 24 hours. Experts warned that the government’s slackening and failure to enforce safety protocols and ramp up measures along with people not following safety protocols may bring about a second wave of infections in Nepal. Officials have also suggested that the UK variant which is highly transmissible and more deadly, is responsible for the current spike in cases.

The Health Ministry has suggested closing down schools and early closing times for restaurants in the 14 districts that have been considered to be the most vulnerable to Covid-19. The recommendation comes amidst a spike in number of infections in various parts of the country and what public health experts have warned might be a second wave of infections. The ministry has also informed that the more recent cases of infection has increasingly been children and younger age groups, however schools have shown reluctance to shutting down.

Wildfires occurring all across the Nepal has resulted in colossal loss of flora and fauna, also causing high levels of pollution. Experts say that forest fires have the potential to destroy entire ecosystems and drastically reduce resources for wildlife. However, due to lack of mechanisms and policies to deal with the forest fires, wild animals are dying and losing their habitats.

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