News Digest – National Security & Climate Change (February 4 – February 10)


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Nepal’s COVID-19 tally reaches 272,215 as death toll reaches 2028: According to the health ministry, as of February 10, Nepal’s COVID-19 tally stands at 272,215 and the death tally has reached 2028. There are 1756 active cases of infection in the country while 268,431 people have made a recovery.

Glacial lakes in Nepal at risk for outburst: Lack of surveillance mechanisms at Makalu Barun National Park in the Sankhuwasabha district has escalated the threat of flood resulting from a glacial lake outburst. Experts have warned that such an outburst could result in colossal loss of life, habitat, and property. According to scientists, out of the 21 glacial lakes in Nepal, 20 of them are at a risk of an outburst which could have devastating impacts. They have urged Nepal to pay close attention to warnings and put in place monitoring mechanisms that would allow for planned responses.

Nepal set to receive 500,000 doses of vaccine from China: According to reports, China has committed to provide Nepal with 500,000 doses of vaccines under a grant. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that China would be making Nepal a priority in vaccine cooperation. However, Nepali authorities are yet to grant approval to vaccines other than Covishield vaccine developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, the Swedish-British pharmaceutical giant. According to an official at the Department of Drug Administration, Nepal has asked for data from the third-phase trials along with other necessary documents from Sinopharm.

According to reports, around 184,857 people including frontline workers and sanitation workers have received the first dose of Covishield vaccine in the first phase of Nepal’s vaccination drive. According to announcement by the UN health agency on February 3, the World Health Organization is going to supply 225,6000 vaccines to Nepal from the last week of February. According to health officials, the vaccines will be adequate to vaccinate 3.3% of Nepal’s population.

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