News Digest – National Security & Climate Change (October 15-21)


Nepal’s COVID-19 tally stands at 139129 as death toll reaches 765: As of October 21, Nepal’s COVID-19 tally stands at 94223 and the death tally has reached 765. According to the health ministry, there are 41755 active cases of infection in the country while 96609 people have made a recovery. Province No. 2 has reported 16270 cases with 142 deaths, Bagmati Pradesh has reported 51,996 cases with 273 deaths, Province No. 5 has reported 14,055 cases with 95 deaths, Sudurpaschim Pradesh has reported 8,497 cases with 14 deaths, Province No. 1 has reported 10,729 cases with 80 deaths, Karnali Pradesh has reported 4488 cases with 7 deaths, and Gandaki Pradesh has reported 5,767 cases with 34 deaths.

Health workers suffer after those infected refuse to cooperate: The government’s decision that it will not bear the cost of COVID-19 tests and treatment has angered the people. According to health workers that are tasked with contact tracing, people are aggressive and give heated responses when they are rung up and inquired about their health status. Public health experts and Health Ministry officials say that the government decision is counterproductive and disastrous and that it in no way helps control the pandemic.

Lack of hospital beds for serious cases of Covid-19: Nepal health system is overwhelmed and buckling under the pressure of COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors say mortality rate will increase, if patients are not transferred to wards within four hours from emergency. Patients do not get proper attention from the health workers deployed in the emergency, as they have to attend more patients simultaneously. The cases have continued to rise and the situation has become grim for infected individuals in serious conditions.

Experts call for stepping up measures amid new Covid-19 projections: According to the Ministry of Health, an additional 320,000 people will be infected with Covid-19 in the next four months, if the daily average infection rate is 2,665. However, the ministry’s own figures show that there have been an average of 3,195 new infections every day. Despite projections, the government is yet to introduce new measures and strengthen current ones. Experts have called for stepping up measures and have stressed that the government should prepare to increase tests, make contact tracing effective, and arrange isolation beds, intensive care unit beds and ventilators.

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