News Digest – National Security & Climate Change September 24 – 30


covid vaccine

Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 76,258 as death toll reaches 491: As of September 30, Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 76,258 and the death tally has reached 491. According to the health ministry, there are 20,396 active cases of infection in the country while 55,371 people have made a recovery. Province No. 2 has reported 14,835 cases with 130 deaths, Bagmati Pradesh has reported 22,441 cases with 180 deaths, Province No. 5 has reported 10,616 cases with 73 deaths, Sudurpaschim Pradesh has reported 7,412 cases with 12 deaths, Province No. 1 has reported 6,689 cases with 53 deaths, Karnali Pradesh has reported 3,475 cases with 5 deaths, and Gandaki Pradesh has reported 4,277 cases with 29 deaths.

Government cannot predict risk from Covid-19 says the Government Spokesperson: The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Pradeep Gyawali said that the government cannot predict the risk posed by Covid-19 at a press briefing organized to publicize cabinet decisions. His remarks come amidst the alarming numbers of rising cases in the country. He said that the restrictions have been eased in order to restore a level of normalcy but also stressed that all individuals must exercise high levels of precaution, as the virus has continued to spread.

Authorities unaware about receiving 25 million Russian vaccine doses: According to reports, Nepal is set to receive 25 million doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from Russia. According to a Reuters report, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced that the ‘Russian Sputnik V Vaccine’, the first registered vaccine against Covid-19 will be supplied via Trinity Pharmaceuticals based in Nepal. However, the Nepal government is yet to make their position clear on the use of Covid-19 vaccines developed by foreign countries. Furthermore, Nepali officials have also said that they were unaware of such developments.

Covid-19 patients also struggling with mental health: Mental health of Covid-19 patients has become an increasingly important issue as cases continue to rise in the country. Psychiatrists and psychologists have said that since infected individuals are mandated to stay in self-isolation at home due to overburdening of isolation centers and hospitals, they are struggling with problems related to anxiety and depression. They also said that mental health of Covid-19 patients has continued to be overlooked despite efforts to bring this to the notice of authorities. Although Nepal Mental Health Hospital has recently started a helpline (which can be reached on ‘1166’), the vast majority of people remain unaware of such a service.

Odd-even traffic rule reinforced in Kathmandu valley amidst surge in cases: As cases continue to surge in the Kathmandu valley, the odd-even traffic rule that had been recently lifted, has been reinforced again. According to officials at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, the measure has been reinforced as cases have continued to rise daily at alarming rates. According to reports, commuters have constantly violated the rule despite heightened police monitoring and 1,595 violators have been booked as of September 29.

Nepal crosses 1 million PCR tests mark: According to reports, 1,009,298 PCR tests have been carried out in the country as of September 28. Currently, there are 55 Covid-19 labs across the country including 40 government and 15 private labs. Recently, over 10,000 tests are being conducted within 24 hours according to The Ministry of Health Spokesperson. The government had initially also used RDT testing methods for diagnostic purposes, which was suspended following public outcry and protests about the reliability of the government.

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